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How do you know you just aren't conversant with "the way most engineers would do this"? That would mean you are using your familiarity with a certain set of conventions and not necessarily using your intuition.

>How do you know you just aren't conversant with "the way most engineers would do this"?

I don't use the term "intuition" in the exact way I use the term "intuitive" wrt a UI. I warrant that you're correct that my thought processes could align to some extent with those of the creators of any interface that I'm attempting to grok and that this appears as if the interface is intuitive.

Intuitiveness (rather than "intuition" to make the distinction I hinted about above) in an interface that relies on metaphor (affordance of buttons enhanced by shadow, etc.) is simply about familiarity.

A previous comment mentioned a simple light-switch as being possibly lacking in affordance for a jungle-dweller who lacks knowledge of our technology. I'd agree that they're unlikely to intuit what to do, but the interface to my mind is intuitive in that once one tries it then the feedback leads to a ready analysis of the effect and enables rapid understanding of the superficial workings.

What you're saying is that a light switch has high discoverability.

Like all things supposedly "intuitive".

What's intuitive? It's all learned from something. We can't even pick our nose when we're first born, we have to figure out how to move our arm.

We are born with a fear of heights. It takes a little awhile to develop object permanence, but there's very little risk of people not getting it. The brain is not a blank slate -- that's ideological dogma from bygone days. Science is showing the brain has a lot of functionality baked into the hardware. Read Steven Pinker's books for the general interest overview.

There indeed is a real intuitive.

And how would you suggest leveraging it for computer interfaces? Putting the dangerous things over the edge of a cliff?

Read Pinker's books. There's a lot more than my two examples. (Though either one alone demolishes your earlier claim that all "intuitive" is learned.) There's a lot of intuitive stuff around Geometry alone that painters have been exploiting since cave paintings. I think there's plenty more we can do as computer people with that alone.

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