UX must be an ongoing effort of continually learning about users

“Most [clients] expect experience design to be a discrete activity, solving all their problems with a single functional specification or a single research study. It must be an ongoing effort, a process of continually learning about users, responding to their behaviors, and evolving the product or service.” - Dan Brown

“Most [clients] expect experience design to be a discrete activity, solving all their problems with a single functional specification or a single research study. It must be an ongoing effort, a process of continually learning about users, responding to their behaviors, and evolving the product or service.” – Dan Brown

Dan’s quote is one of many cited by Whitney Hess in her excellent article “10 Most Common Misconceptions About User Experience Design.”

Why should we all suffer an interface that is unusable?

“If you want to reach the greatest number of users possible, it’s best to write clearly and simply and design your interfaces to be consistent from page to page. For some people, simple usability advice like this is an absolute accessibility need... And anyway, people of all abilities fail tasks that are confusing. Why should we all suffer an interface that proves itself to be unusable?” - Matt May

“If you want to reach the greatest number of users possible, it’s best to write clearly and simply and design your interfaces to be consistent from page to page. For some people, simple usability advice like this is an absolute accessibility need… And anyway, people of all abilities fail tasks that are confusing. Why should we all suffer an interface that proves itself to be unusable?” – Matt May

Read Matt’s article “Accessibility From the Ground Up” from Digital Web Magazine for his thoughts on creating accessible designs.

Focus on what you should be doing, not just what you can

“Technological advances have always been driven more by a mind-set of ‘I can’ than ‘I should’... Technologists love to cram maximum functionality into their products. That’s ‘I can’ thinking, which is driven by peer competition and market forces... But this approach ignores the far more important question of how the consumer will actually use the device... focus on what we should be doing, not just what we can.” - John Maeda

“Technological advances have always been driven more by a mind-set of ‘I can’ than ‘I should’… Technologists love to cram maximum functionality into their products. That’s ‘I can’ thinking, which is driven by peer competition and market forces… But this approach ignores the far more important question of how the consumer will actually use the device… focus on what we should be doing, not just what we can.” – John Maeda

Read John’s “mini manifesto” in this article from Esquire.  Thanks to Experientia for sharing this story.

It’s helpful to look outside of the web for your inspiration

“It’s always helpful to look outside of the web for your inspiration, to places where you might not at first expect to find a solution. The world is a collage of inspiration, from newspapers, magazine publishing, and advertising to product design, architecture and the fine arts.” - Andy Clarke

“It’s always helpful to look outside of the web for your inspiration, to places where you might not at first expect to find a solution. The world is a collage of inspiration, from newspapers, magazine publishing, and advertising to product design, architecture and the fine arts.” – Andy Clarke

Read Andy’s article “Creating Inspired Design Part 1: I Am The Walrus” here.