When we build a site — and the bigger the site the more pronounced this dynamic is — there’s a clear division between the two main components of the site. The engineers are concerned with function. By its nature, most of the time the function serves to push the user through the appropriate steps to accomplish whatever goal the site has for its users. There is a specific set of steps, and the functions are made to PUSH. The designer on the other hand, is trying to PULL. By that I mean that design is meant to draw the eye, to gently bring you along to the next logical step.
But the best applications with the best user experiences (UX)/user interface (UI), don’t do either. Or perhaps more accurately, do both — they guide. They walk along with the user, they make you feel like every step is natural, and you’re not being forced either by being forcibly pushed or gently pulled – the “system” is walking along with you.
Our goal is to build systems that walk with the user, so he or she never feels pushed and never feels pulled, but guided. What do you think makes a good “guidance-driven” interface?