The Importance of Time in UX Design

uxdesign.cc uxdesign.cc3 years ago in #UX Love307

Time is important to us. You could even say that time is extremely important to us. And given the fact that this article is called “The Importance of Time in UX Design,” you probably think that I will discuss the importance of time management. But no. I want to talk about the time that occurs in our brains. This article is about the importance of how time occurs within and is registered by our brains, as well as our system of perception needed to function and perform basic actions. In this article I will determine: • How does time affect our perception • How does our brain function within the confines of time constraints How can we use some of these issues to our advantage in UX design What is our perception of time? We are constantly faced with issues of time and time management. For example, we know that in order to cook chicken in the oven, we need 1 hour, or in order to get from home to the store at a steady pace we need at least 10 minutes. For us, these numbers are conditional time constants that we use to plan our actions. “Our brain also has time constants.” Time constants are moments of doing and behavior that our brains have standardized. So, our brain has these time constants and, unlike the store example, these constants are quite objective for every person. The time of each reaction and each action of our brains has actually been tracked by neuroscientists down to milliseconds. And, in fact, understanding the timing of these reactions is crucial for UX design. How can brain time rules help in UX design? Understanding and using the time constants of human perception will not help you create a more effective or beautiful product. However, understanding so-called “brain time rules” will help make your product more responsive to users. If your product is well synchronized with the user’s internal time requirements, then in the end it will be much more important for the user than the product’s efficiency or even layout. “Understanding and using the time constants of human perception will help make your product more responsive to users.” To better understand this, let’s look at an example. Let’s say, for instance, that your toaster has broken, and you have decided to take it to an expert repairman to have it fixed. There are two workshops in your area. The first is called “Sensitive workshop.” Here you will receive an order and the repairman will inform you about it, they will say how long it takes to diagnose a breakdown, and then they will say how long it takes to repair and will offer you to refuse the repair service if it does not fit your needs or schedule. The second workshop is called “Very, very fast,” and you heard that the equipment is being repaired really fast there. If you go there and hand your broken toaster to the repairman, he will not say a word to you about whether or not he started repairing your toaster, if it has broken at all, how long the repair will take, and you do not know if you can refuse to have it repaired. So what workshop do you take your toaster to? In fact, the software can act similarly. For example, one application will copy your document for 30 minutes, but it will tell you that it will do just that much and will offer you the option to refuse to copy, and the second will perform the same action in 10 minutes, but will…

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