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Simple and Intuitive Use

Simple and intuitive use is one of the principles of universal design, which makes goods and products accessible to many people. This article will outline examples of simple and intuitive use.

Simple and Intuitive Use

Simple and intuitive use means making products and spaces easy to understand and use. For example, large icons on the buttons or controls of a washing machine help users understand the purpose of each control.

In addition, products or spaces should function in ways that people expect. For instance, remote controls and other numbered keypads often have the numbers arranged in the same way, with a dot or raised line on the number 5.

Furthermore, people who speak different languages, or have different reading levels, should all be able to use products and spaces. For example, step-by-step instructions that only include words create barriers for people who do not speak or read that language fluently. In contrast, instructions that include pictures as well as words allow people who speak many languages to understand.

Moreover, people should learn the most important things about a product or space first, before they receive less crucial details. For instance, in step-by-step instructions for frozen meals, the first step often tells people to remove the meal from its box before they put the meal in the oven. This simple instruction, presented first, keeps people safe from putting cardboard or plastic packaging in the oven.

Finally, products and spaces should provide people with feedback during and after use. For example, recipes often include details about how the food should appear at different stages, such as how food should:

  • Look
  • Smell
  • Sound
  • Feel

These descriptions help cooks make sure they are following the recipe correctly at every step. Similarly, recipes often end with a direction to “serve”, or with serving suggestions. This conclusion alerts cooks that they have reached the end of the food preparation process.