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Wednesday
May302012

User

I was looking through my old project notebooks recently and wanted to share some thoughts on user experience that have resonated deeply with me. The images above are screenshots of my notes from talks I've attended/listened to by great proponents of UX and empirical research such as Jared Spool, Malcolm Gladwell, and SVA's Interaction Design department. All discussions culminate in the same tipping point: How can we give users what they need and want in the simplest and easiest manner in conjunction with what we do? 

It's such an elementary question, isn't it? Who knows our consumers and our products better than us?

Lest we forget that we're dealing with other human beings here and not drones, it is important to note the amount of emotional constitution and behaviorial science involved in the field of usability design. It's not a simple switch we can turn on or off, demanding certain actions based on what we create because people react differently to the same substance. We're also not allowed to assume that just because we think it's obvious, it is readily apparent to the next person. The question "Why can't they just get it?" falls on us to explore, reason, and fix.

In examining these states, we also discover how applicable they are to our daily lives outside of this realm. How the way we think determines the course of our activity. How susceptible we are to outside forces. And how we try to maintain some semblance of control. It is this process of finding out why that makes the difference.