Fave idea of the week : Apr 25, 08

There’s something interesting about disconnecting natural and intuitive. They really aren’t the same thing, yet I have often assumed they are. If you look up intuitive, you’ll find synonyms: 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.

Intuition is:

  1. direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process; immediate apprehension. 
  2. a fact, truth, etc., perceived in this way. 
  3. a keen and quick insight. 
  4. 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):

  1. Existing in or formed by nature
  2. Growing spontaneously
  3. free from affectation or constraint
  4. arising easily or spontaneously
  5. based on what is learned from nature rather than on revelation
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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