Passover and the Four Users
For the Jewish holiday of Passover, guidance is provided as to how to explain its interface when onboarding various identified end users. In particular, four types of children are identified.
The so-called “wise” child asks about features and how to accomplish tasks in the ideal manner. They accept the interface as appropriate for them, taking for granted that it is well-designed – they need only learn what to do. Use of convention and curt tooltips may be good enough.
The so-called “wicked” child asks, “What is this service of yours?!” They understand the intention of the service/interface, like the “wise” child, but they do not accept your offering. They require some convincing. An elaboration of benefits and trade-offs relative to alternatives could help – perhaps even a light manifesto is warranted.
The “simple” child asks, “What is this?” They require more introduction to the origins of the service, intended use cases, etc. A FAQ may suffice.
The fourth child “knows not how to ask”. They require some proactive hand-holding – a tour, guides, tutorials.
These children may be different individuals, but they may also be “inner” children contained within each individual, either all at once or appearing at different times given task-relevant contexts (“I contain multitudes”). How do you address the multitudes of/within users for your interfaces? Is it helpful to identify the four children among your target audience?