Shades of Discoverability

by Cennydd Bowles

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  1. Thanks for moving the discoverability discussion into the modern era. I find the distinctions between static visual cues, motion, audio, and text to be helpful. One blurring of those distinctions is the occasional intersection of visual and motion cues — that is, the use of subtle movements before any interaction has taken place to communicate affordance. For instance, the first time I viewed the search results screen of the AirBnB iPhone app, there was a subtle animation in which each result jumped slightly to the right before quickly snapping back into place. This effectively communicated to me that I could perform a right swipe on a result to access additional actions. A more discussed example would be iOS’s “slide to unlock” color animation. Whether these fall into the “static visual cues” category because they preempt any interaction, or in the “motion” category because they involve animation (or are just accepted as having characterises of both) is probably beside the point. But having a framework for implicit clues, and knowing how to appropriately use and combine the cues, is very valuable.
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