T14: Intuitive and Simple Design

Tuesday, 27 July 2021, 08:00 – 12:00 EDT (Eastern Daylight Time - Washington DC)
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Everett McKay (short bio)

Principal, UX Design Edge, United States



Attendees will gain a fresh way to think about, discuss, and design for two of the most important and challenging design objectives: making designs intuitive and simple.


Content and benefits:

This tutorial combines two of the most challenging design objectives—making designs intuitive and simple. Intuitive design is challenging because it, as commonly understood, is vague and subjective. Simple design is challenging because many people incorrectly believe that it requires harming a product or “dumbing it down.” This tutorial presents an objective framework and shared vocabulary for understanding both concepts, and applies the framework to a mobile design challenge. The objective is to optimize for what is most important for the target users, and have immediately self-explanatory tasks that don’t require documentation or training.

Here’s the tutorial outline:

  • Intuitive
    • What does intuitive mean, really?
    • The attributes of intuitive interaction
    • Strategically unintuitive
    • Intuitive task flows
    • Exercise: Redesign a website to make it intuitive
  • Simple
    • What is simplicity?
    • Powerful and simple
    • Simplicity design principles
    • Simplicity examples
    • Why is simplicity so hard?
    • Exercise: Resign a coffee maker to make it intuitive

Each section that isn’t an exercise will have at least one class discussion.


Target Audience:

There is no prerequisite knowledge, but intermediates and experts will benefit the most.

Bio Sketch of Presenter:

Everett McKay is Principal of UX Design Edge and a UX design trainer and consultant with global clientele. Everett's specialty is finding practical, intuitive, simple, highly usable solutions quickly for web, mobile, and desktop applications. Everett has over 30 years' experience in user interface design and has delivered UX design workshops to an international audience that includes Europe, Australia, Asia, South America, and Africa.

Everett is author of "Intuitive Design: Eight Steps to an Intuitive UI", the definitive guide to designing intuitive interactions, and "UI Is Communication: How to Design Intuitive, User Centered Interfaces by Focusing on Effective Communication", a groundbreaking approach to UI design using human communication-based principles and techniques. While at Microsoft, Everett wrote the Windows UX Guidelines for Windows 7 and Windows Vista. Everett holds a master's degree in computer science from MIT.