Tenets of UX: Base Familiarity

How can you ease the user? By adding relevant features that align with the domain audience that might use the product. And the key to this is basing all these features on familiarity. To ease the user to any product or service, the behavior of key components should be according to normalized expectations. The medium, domain, current trends, and patterns will play an important role in this.

Any major Product based or Service based company uses the Principle of familiarity to design the products or services. Apple uses the familiarity principle to design most of its products. This approach makes sure that the products are aligning with the real world. And it is said that this approach of familiarity has resulted in apple’s success

See some of the key strategies to measure Base Familiarity below.

1. Domain Understanding: As UX designers, we design products according to the domain users. Unless the wireframes are created as per the requirements of the particular user segment. Each domain is complex in its own way and each user segment has a new set of requirements and preferences. And it’s easy for us to get carried away with our ideation process. So, having a strong domain understanding is a must while creating Base Familiarity.

2. Medium Understanding: It’s always good to understand the platform through which the designed application is going into the hands of people. Without a proper medium understanding, the design isn’t looking great on different dimensions. If you are on a Mac and the website design is as per an iPhone, it doesn’t just make any sense to the user.

3. UX Patterns: Human brains are wired to using learned patterns. These are the reusable solutions to common usability problems. As designers might encounter the same set of problems again, patterns are created for the ones that worked really well for us so that we use them repeatedly. If you see the hamburger menu has become so familiar that even the non-regular product user knows what it does. Thus when users see the same solution implemented various times at different places, such solutions become expected.

4. Recognition over Recall: It is hard for our minds to retrieve memory unless it is stored in the hippocampus region. We as humans tend to remember the situation/ experience more than the jargon/ related details. The major difference between these two terms is that recognition needs more visual cues than recall in order to remember anything. And the UX visual approach holds good most of the time. So if you take google bookmark manager for example it uses a combination of recognition by showing the list of bookmarks and then recall by clicking on these bookmarks or by looking at the URLs.

Thus Base Familiarity is a concept that uses the key strategies like above to create a sense of familiarity for users while using the product.

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