Average user does not mean complete idiot
There’s been this common misconception with user experience design for years now. Good design is a design where a complete idiot understands how to use every feature immediately.
This is completely wrong and leads to useful features getting cut because, “It’s too complex”
There is an elitism in IT where people assume they are special because they know more than the basics about computers and that those, “Average users” are complete idiots and should be treated as such.
Nowhere is this more clear than with Windows 8. Many reviews have said how complex and how it will confuse the end user. But they never say that it confused them. Here’s the problem, they were able to get the hang of it pretty quickly, but they see themselves as “elite” as they not only use computers everyday, they write about computers. But then they make comments about how this theoretical “Average User” will struggle.
A good user experience does not mean something so simple you can’t do anything meaningful. A good UX is one that can be explored – it pulls you in to touch it, experiment with it, play with it. A good UX is consistent, so that once a user has learnt how to do something can guess how to do similar things.
The modern UI in Windows 8 achieves this surprisingly well.