Micro Applications - That's what I'm dubbing them at least.
Apple hit on to something big with the iTunes store.
As it turns out people work with text commands very well in a hierarchical fashion. Object-oriented programming is so favorable because having hundreds or thousands of commands on the first level (non-object oriented) such as array_push(array_name, item) are much harder to remember than array_name.push(item). Context.
Context reduces memory load.
However, in the visual arena, people work much better in a spatial fashion. The menu system of the iPhone is so favorable because it eliminates the need for context. Each app does one task well. No app does many tasks. No hierarchy is necessary. All desired functions are available at the top level. The app is available at the top level. Once the app is selected, all of it's functions are available at the top level, with few exceptions.
The church would do well to have their websites follow these principles. directory.lds.org is easy to remember and would provide direct access to what is desired. People could get to where they wanted to go before even logging in. Instead it's something obscure that you get to through a bunch of menus.
Spatial access through hierarchy... it doesn't work.
It's also why alphabetizing countries is a bad idea. If you put the country which the browser believes the user is in as the first country and the rest alphabetized... better off with a map actually. If you have the screen real estate, use it. If you don't, create it. Layers are spatial. Menus are hierarchical.
Use what works.
By AJ ONeal
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