The lunch was a reunion of sorts since Carolyn has history with Table XI’s design group: front-end designer Matt Reich and I have both taken her Starter League class (it was through that class that I met Mike Gibson, head of the Love Has No Logic design group and now senior designer at Table XI).
Over lunch we discussed many fascinating components of user experience design and research. For now, I wanted to share a couple ideas. I’m excited to see how we can bring this kind of thinking to our work.
1. Have empathy for the user.
2. Formulate design principles early in a project.
When clients describe their product’s ideal user experience, they often use words like “simple” and “intuitive.” I can’t disagree—systems should absolutely work the way you expect them to. Totally on board. But, sometimes, I think having only “simple” and “intuitive” as goals is a little like saying the boat you’re building should float. If we spend more time upfront defining our design goals, codifying a common vocabulary, it will help with decision making throughout the development process. For example, if you’re trying to choose between two possible page layouts, circling back to the initial design principles can help break the tie.
3. “The details are not details. They make the product.”
I pulled this quote by Charles Eames from this fabulous sheet on microinteractions by Dan Saffer. A greater emphasis on details often helps in crafting a great user experience. Best case scenario, attention to detail helps the user feel taken care of. Thoughtful details also show you’ve taken the time to think through carefully what users are trying to do, and that you respect their tasks. Finally, a system's details can assure a user they’ve come to the right place.
In the meantime, in an attempt to catalogue inspiration and just generally be more observant, I made this tumblr of UX Defeats and Triumphs. Drop me a line if or when you come across something delightful or disastrous.
Are you interested in attending one of our future UX Lunch 'N Learns? We'd love to have you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.