The Big Five of Interaction Design

There are 5 ways that a user will guess how to do a certain function.

  1. Buttons/Links
  2. Menus
  3. Right-Click
  4. Drag and Drop
  5. Keyboard Shortcuts

Each of these ways is more or less comfortable for a random user.  Personally, I am a right-clicker.  I right-click on everything and am usually disappointed.  However, when it works, I am usually psyched.

For years Gmail has satisfied me with Buttons or Links and a few menus.  I discovered some gmail keyboard shortcuts which were cool too, although I rarely use them.

Today, GMail added in support for #4, Drag and Drop.  What has been a gaping hole is now plugged where you can drag an email into a label.  Well done.


Now, they need to just add in Right-Clicking and I will be happy.

How many of the big 5 does your application support.  Add in the others and you will find users singing your praises.  With today’s technology, it’s actually easier than you think.

Whatya think?