Don’t design for everyone. It’s impossible.

“Don’t design for everyone. It’s impossible. All you end up doing is designing something that makes everyone unhappy.” - Leisa Reichelt

“Don’t design for everyone. It’s impossible. All you end up doing is designing something that makes everyone unhappy.” – Leisa Reichelt

Read Leisa’s article “The general public myth (or, the whole world is not your user)” here.

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.

In design, space is not the problem. Attention is.

“Designing a website can be a bit like being a kid and inheriting a sweetshop. It’s easy to get carried away. There are so many choices. A website can be like an attic that never fills up. Space is not the problem. Attention is.” - Gerry McGovern

“Designing a website can be a bit like being a kid and inheriting a sweetshop. It’s easy to get carried away. There are so many choices. A website can be like an attic that never fills up. Space is not the problem. Attention is.” – Gerry McGovern

This quote is from Gerry’s article “Web navigation is about moving forward”.

Making assumptions about our users leads us to design for ourselves

“In the absence of detailed information, we all work from assumptions about who the user is, what he or she does, and what type of system would meet his or her needs. Following these assumptions, we tend to design for ourselves, not for other people.” - Human Factor: Designing Computer Systems for People by Richard Rubinstein and Harry Hersh

“In the absence of detailed information, we all work from assumptions about who the user is, what he or she does, and what type of system would meet his or her needs. Following these assumptions, we tend to design for ourselves, not for other people.” – Human Factor: Designing Computer Systems for People by Richard Rubinstein and Harry Hersh

Quote submitted by Kel Smith.  Do you have a quote you want to see on inspireUX? Submit it, and it may be chosen!

Purchase Human Factor: Designing Computer Systems for People here.