As quirky as it might seem, the phrase has put itself to much usability that it has become friendlier to much of the language and theoretical if not practical domains of academic, sociologic(al), technological boundaries of all explaining or mansplaing in it’s day to day usage. We do not immediately recognize its usefulness but it chimes well and sits almost in every context of human adjectives and objectives but very little we ponder about it’s whereabouts and quest it’s object oriented origin or derivative.
Here we shall look and interact upon the definitive purposes of computer based coinages or design of acronym from where we presumingly gather and gain our entire understanding of the subject in question. Our understanding orbits around the original thought and succeedingly the school of thought thereafter.
Speech and sound synthesis separates the Man from rest of the creation.
Especially now in a highly arranged array of information and communication technologies the entire ecosystem of doings and the relative inquisition of inquiry in form of (search engine) queries we the users of internet relentlessly bug our geeky sides into search boxes and surf into a index of entire internet at a glance tiring our limited minspaces from the rain pour of cloud based information systems.
Usefulness itself is a contextual anomaly not to mention when we say End User License Agreement which significantly queries into our our ignorance of information lexicon which we lazy nerds pittingly “tl;dr”.
Usage of information of informational technology or communication of a information tool is a basis of all things computing and it’s innumerable applications that hold us against our will to ignore the nitty gritty of everything the software or ‘soft’ product in quest or question has to offer (the End User), be it EULA or Manual or Documentation or simple citations under the good old ‘help’ menu from the menu bar.
We (software folk) build interfaces and then build information systems around those windows which make the user experiences based on the usage of information available or useable from the acquisition of that product. As elaborated before acquisition of the tool alone does not satisfy our requirement as we also need to aquire more info around that requisition thus we request or re-quest ‘more info’from a ‘anchor’ link whereever the navigation of a webpage deems it right (or the designer prototypes it right).
Thus we (users) become a part of the chain of query languages where information is constantly being exchanged and derived grammatically or programmatically. The language of languages and innumerous usages defines the crux of ‘user friendliness’ of a ‘user interface’.
Composition is the key to unlock the correct responses.
When we breakdown every phrase or word we become aware of that particular words next time we ‘use’ them. We find them more useful than before as we learn it’s derivative. Similarly when a user stumbles upon a new program or interface the various options and hidden shortcuts intrigue the user as he or she is ‘not aware’ of those buttons, menus, options, shortcuts, panels, tabs and hence a navigation has to guide the user or the user interface may itself interfere the user from applying the app.
Point: Just like the lexicon intimidates the User from navigating the EULA, the UI and it’s lexicon (lingo and icons) invoke a negative response if not elaborated effectively. Composition is the key to unlock the correct responses.
The written word crypts the sound and meaning in a methodology our brains are trained to code and decode contextually that even machine learning models or labels are not yet ready to neurologically construct or deconstruct as ‘language’ itself is hardwired network of linguistic architecture that is distinct to the design of human DNA. Speech and sound synthesis separates the Man from rest of the creation. Letter and Script makes him the demigod.
Perspective: Simply by reverse engineering we cannot decrypt the design of evolution. Simply by feeding a MLA (machine learning algorithms) with pictures and sounds we cannot recreate natural experiences. Originality was when the man symbolically denoted a symbol to mean a Mammoth or a sign to denote a Camel or Simply a alphabet ‘I' to identify himself and now an icon 🧔 to express himself. He has come to a full circle in simplified amplification of applied creativity.
The very simplicity of a letter to de-sign-ate (designate) a sign to a sound (Aee, Bee, Cee, Dee, Eee) the evolution engineered the man’s ideas to de-sign (design) a linguistic architecture of complex phonetically, rhythmically, neurally and algorithmic(ally) scripted languages which vice versa redesigned (redesignated) him to a creator of himself.
From the cave drawing to the tomb symbol the journey from the speechless pictogram to voiceless emoticon his creative genius is unfortunately belittled by shorthand like “tl;dr".
Today 10,000 words in his dictionary he journeyed from 10,000 B.C. to journal his scriptures simplifying his expressions in signage to idioms, maxims, axioms, phrases and today infamously the “like" button.
His communication only became ‘human friendly’ as more human he became, perfecting his scribbling sketches to fine scriptures.
Back to point: The phrase ‘User Friendly’ is so salient as such that it became so Human Friendly since its broad adaption to express something useful. Between the Mammoth to the Camel, from Ice Age to the desserted Nile primitive man chronicled his speech synthesis with scripts eulogizing his evolution through design of expression and accompanying picturesque experiences. Between the Goliath to the sacrificial goat he carved a civilization and coded a language designing each alphabet to perfection.
Every era is a example to both his amplification and simplification of quest to narrate and also navigate his course through text books of history. These interfaces although non interactive rival the elaborate creations of murals, frescos, paintings. His communication only became ‘human friendly’ as more human he became, perfecting his scribbling sketches to fine scriptures. The subtraction from the vague abstraction consciously cruised his intelligence to say more by scripting less.
That very technique be it with primitive tools proved him more productive from period to period. Less is more.
By reducing the Mammoth to a doodle and doodle to diagram the design became more functional in reproducing information and improving communication. From cave to cotton fabric to papyrus to paper the reapplication and representation of sounds and speech along with every Noun gave way to comprehensive languages and dialects across the continents.
As text transformed into type and type into typefaces user interfaces became effective and hyperactive. Just like words ‘user friendly’ has brought the design conscious to realm of electronic pages. Much like how man has made his language more useful with subtraction from abstraction, the designer is consciously reemploying how human DNA is redesigned and restructured to hardwire natural learnings over millenia into making these user interfaces human friendly.