Have you ever played a videogame where you sit down, turn on the game, and are overwhelmed with a thousand cool things you can do?
Why not? Because that game company went out of business long ago. Games start with one thing the user can do, waits until the user is comfortable, then introduces the next thing.
This makes complete sense. Why would I need to plan a tactical assault in a videogame before I know how to fire my gun?
Great, now lets jump back to user experience. Since I work on the web, lets use the web as an example. Not to single anything out, but Google Analytics is a complex platform that has had a long time to mature, lets use it as an example.
In Google Analytics, why would I want to benchmark my user’s location when I haven’t even been introduced to even the most basic vocabulary of the platform, like what’s a user, vs. a pageview, vs. a session.
Now okay, lets take a step back from the criticism. There is a nice youtube tutorial to help you figure things out, but people who surf the web are doers. If they see a complex interface in front of them, they don’t want to hold back and watch a video. They are going to press all the buttons until they figure it out.
What would I prefer? Less buttons. Give me a chart with simple pageviews. Once I get comfortable with a pageview, tell me “hey! I bet you are frustrated with returning users being counted as new pageviews. Guess what? We’ve got something for you, its called users. If you look at the number of users you’ll see unique visits to your website.
Sure that might mean that as a new user, I can’t track my acquisition campaigns. But what the hell is an acquisition campaign? Is someone buying me new websites?
Kidding aside, you can have complex mature platforms that don’t overwhelm users, it just takes a little extra effort.