We Muddle Through

FACT OF LIFE #3: We don’t figure out how things work. We muddle through.

One of the things that becomes obvious as soon as you do any usability testing—whether you’re testing Web sites, software, or household appliances—is the extent to which people use things all the time without understanding how they work, or with completely wrong-headed ideas about how they work.

Faced with any sort of technology, very few people take the time to read instructions. Instead, we forge ahead and muddle through, making up our own vaguely plausible stories about what we’re doing and why it works.

Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited, by Steve Krug