The March-April 2002 interactions Whiteboard column caught my eye. Focusing on usability terminology, the article declares that a product's intuitiveness depends on its users' previous life experience and learning. "Aha!" I thought. "This sounds like mental models." A user's mental model reflects her understanding of how something functions and her expectations of behavior. It determines what is intuitive to that user. As a developing country, South Africa asks us a key question: "How do we cope with major differences in what is intuitive?" This wonderfully diverse, rainbow nation is characterized by having many user groups with widely differing technology…
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