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Enhancing User Experience in the Technological Era

1 February 2019
Lior Cohen
A hand holding a device

Knowledge management heavily relies on psychological and cognitive principles, leveraging the inherent aspects of human nature to create an optimal user experience.

In Professor Daniel Kahneman's book "Thinking, Fast, and Slow," he distinguishes between two systems activated in our brain during thought processes:

  • System 1 – A fast and intuitive system

  • System 2 – A logical, slow, strenuous, and even lazy system

Each of these systems serves us better in different situations. We aim to minimize the user's reliance on System 2 when presenting content, encouraging minimal strenuous thinking. UX expert Steve Krug emphasizes this principle in his book "Don't Make Me Think." Numerous rules in the field of user experience, including those found in this book and many others, align with the same goal.

There is extensive discourse on how information is consumed across generations X, Y, and Z—consumption characterized by immediacy, maximum speed, and minimal effort. Concurrently, evolving trends and technologies are reshaping the landscape of knowledge. How can these innovations cater to the demand for reducing cognitive load and enhancing user experience? Let's explore the potential outcomes of technological trends.

Interactive Information

We have an increasing array of options for content consumption or executing actions through digital forms and self-service functionalities. We access the desired content or perform specific actions based on our choices within the system, tailored to our details or particular circumstances.

How does this impact user experience?

  • Breaking down the content: Instructions or complex tasks can be challenging to comprehend. A clever presentation of knowledge/process can delineate stages and guide users seamlessly.

  • Presenting information at critical points: Information is revealed based on user choices at decision junctures, intelligently presented at the time and place needed rather than as part of pre-process instructions, requiring memorization.

"Intelligent" Technologies

Many technologies today increasingly understand user interactions. In bots, digital personal assistants, and Google Knowledge Graph Plus, structured content is delivered with minimal search time.

How does this impact user experience?

  • Understanding user language

  • Bypassing site and page navigation

  • Focusing on essential information, sparing unnecessary introductions, and enveloping details

  • Presenting in a distinct field design, separating them from surrounding information, and reducing visual background noise

Personalization of Information

Whether within social media systems infiltrating organizations or traditional systems, there's a rising trend to tailor content for each user. Users can log in using a unique code and password, access personalized information, join organizational groups with shared content areas, and even create quick links to preferred content.

How does this impact user experience?

  • Engagement with the system: Users feel considered and valued, fostering a sense that the system is designed for their benefit.

  • Minimalism in content presentation: Information received is free of unnecessary content, adhering to minimalism in content delivery.

  • Social media components, like feeds, cater to our ability to scan information efficiently, aligning with our inclination to skim rather than read deeply.

More Structured Information

A prevailing trend involves transforming conventional documents into structured and digitized formats. In a multi-document system, efficient navigation is crucial, but what happens next? Structuring allows the creation of deeper layers of content presented in a cleaner, more intuitive manner for users.

However, as highlighted, these advantages of technological progress must be appropriately harnessed to avoid creating adverse effects. Even the most advanced technology may deter users if not implemented effectively, prompting them to seek more user-friendly alternatives that prove equally or more effective.

What should be considered when characterizing such tools?

  • Simple content writing: Emphasize conciseness, avoid repetition, use familiar vocabulary, and minimize "noise amplifiers" (multiple colors, highlights, varied font sizes not for navigation).

  • Structured content writing: Smart tools can efficiently retrieve and refine information in built-in fields and templates.

  • Defined search results order: Properly characterize search engines to save time and prevent errors, recognizing that humans, like bots, often choose the first seemingly relevant option.

  • Orientation: Ensure users understand their spatial location and navigation options, especially in digital forms where step-by-step progress should be visible and easily navigable.

In conclusion, today's evolving technologies offer myriad options to enhance user experience, streamline processes, and improve documentation. Machines better understand users, provide focused information, and streamline tedious processes. The role of the system administrator is to maintain user engagement by adhering to rules that minimize cognitive effort, ensuring optimal fulfillment of the system's purpose.

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