The last month I have been plowing through a lot of material regarding user experiences and I as I was trying to find out if I was mysterious it dawned on me. Successful interaction design is caring about and loving the users!
Stephen Andersson spends a whole book discussing Seductive Interaction Design. The same qualities that goes for people also goes for applications. Are we attractive, easy to understand, can we be trusted, do we care about how we appear? All topped with a bit of mystery and surprise and some humour. I really enjoyed the way design is put into context. It was entertaining and a learning experience. Note to self - I must be more mysterious!
My tester colleagues talk about Charisma testing whch goes along the same lines. What matters when we decide what to buy - our feelings decide!
Having recently re-read Steve Krug's book Don't make me think I reflect on the fact that people are lazy and want immediate action. I really do not want to have to read any manuals, nor do I want to redo anything. Just make it really easy for me to understand what I am supposed to do and I will gladly do it! The whole point is that I want a user to do something and the more I can hep them the easier it will be for them to accomplish their goal. And in the end - my goal is that users manage to reach their goals.
Just think about it. If the user understands, he will not bother the support function with questions, nor will we have to remind him to fulfill what we failed to do the first time. It is, or should be, one of the primary goals for business to make highly usable products. Better conversion, fwer support issues, better data. Less waste if you like Lean language. More money in the end, and money rules - right!
I spent a few hours today watching Luke Wroblewskijs excellent series on UX design And again, love thy user! If you design for mobile - make the buttons clickable. If research shows that the top part of the screen is the hardest to reach - why put our main navigation there? If fields are optional - why bother? No really, if we know that the success rate declines with each additional field... Give me help when I need it, in-time-help. So many good things in this short series, you´d better watch them all yourself.
So how come most IT-projects I have been involved in and have discussed with my colleagues still think that the user experience is less important that the technical parts? It´s like an optional dessert after a hearty meal on potatoes and java code?
Nah, I think this is about to change. In ten years (less I hope but do not believe) we will look back and be amazed how we could even consider letting some stuff out the door that we really in our hearts knew would make our potential users wriggle in pain while trying to accomplish their daily tasks.
Performance is crucial - I have removed a lot of heavy loading material from my site, using lazy load and super cache - still I think it feels too slow. Not good for the user experience.
Have a great summer, I really care about you my devoted readers that´s why I added links and gave you tips on where to find interesting information.