Monday, November 14, 2011

The Boiled Frog and User Experience

I believe some of you if not all  have heard about the boiled frog story. The premise is simple - A frog is captured and placed into a vessel containing boiling water. Result - the frog leaps out of the water immediately. Next, another frog is placed into a vessel containing room-temperature water. The vessel is kept on a heater to boil the water. The frog adapts to the change in water temperature, but never leaps out. Result - the frog dies a slow and painful death.

The thing we learn out of this experiment is the sense of adaptation. Humans like all other animals adapt to their sorrounding, and this is same with their engagement with software. Too much changes in a small period of time in the application's UI can have negative connotations with the user. The trick is to allow the changes to be dispersed in steps - to allow the user to digest the modifications and finally adapt to it. 

So the big idea is : How do we use the Adaptation element of the human pscyhe to our advantage while designing the next app for mobile and web devices. 

Please Note: No frog was really harmed in this experiment.

This post is a continuation of the series leading to my talk at DroidCon.2011. Come participate in the Android festival (

1 comment:

  1. No wonder why most of google products (goole search, gmail, orkut ) were in beta state for 3+ years.