There’s something interesting about disconnecting naturalÂ and intuitive. They really aren’t the same thing, yet I have often assumed they are. If you lookÂ up intuitive, you’ll findÂ synonyms:Â natural, innate. And if you look up natural, you’ll find synonyms of spontaneous, unaffected, genuine, unmannered. So far so good.
But if you delve a little deeper and explore “intuition” it gets murkier.
- direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process; immediate apprehension.Â
- a fact, truth, etc., perceived in this way.Â
- a keen and quick insight.Â
- the quality or ability of having such direct perception or quick insight.
Natural is a whole bunch of things, including (selections of definitions not in order):
- Existing in or formed by nature
- Growing spontaneously
- free from affectation or constraint
- arising easily or spontaneously
- based on what is learned from nature rather than on revelation
- any person or thing that is or is likely or certain to be very suitable to and successful in an endeavor without much training or difficulty.
- and (my favorite…) In craps, a winning combination of seven or eleven made on the first cast.
Nathan Moody of Stimulant was speaking to a bunch of us at Adaptive Path, and he was clear in his thinking: “Natural does not equal intuitive.” He was talking about large-scale interactive displays, and how the physical movements of gesture and body motion were natural…yet when faced with a taller-than-God interactive display, people had no clue how to interact with it.
Good to remember.