Courageous Design

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Courageous Design

  1. 1. 11/10/2010 1 Everett McKay Principal UXDesignEdge This is a rerecording of my Keynote presentation at Design Camp Boston/New England UX on November 6, 2010 Access video and deck from courageousdesign.com Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge Who is this guy? • I’m Principal of UX Design Edge • I offer UX/UI design training (web, live, onsite) and consulting • I specialize in helping non-designers and software professionals that don’t have design resources Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge
  2. 2. 11/10/2010 2 “You need to practice courageous design!” Prof. Keith Edwards User-centered design Intuitive design Empathic design Multi-disciplinary design Collaborative design Participatory design Activity-centered design Defensive design Inductive design Trustworthy design Accessible design Humane design Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge Courage is often the difference between great design and good design Great design requires taking intelligent risks Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge
  3. 3. 11/10/2010 3 “Do the opposite” Let’s look at courageous design in Making decisions Asking questions Simplicity Personality Using data Team culture Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge Great design requires taking intelligent risks Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge
  4. 4. 11/10/2010 4 Driving consensus is important, right? The goal of UX design To fully engage your entire team to create products that your customers will love Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge A typical job description Smart, gets things done,… drives consensus across a multi-disciplinary team… Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge Consensus on key decisions is a good thing, right? Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge “…a horse designed by committee” Sir Alec Issigonis
  5. 5. 11/10/2010 5 Why does this happen? Group decisions  political decisions Holistic vision  minor details Design integrity  compromise Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge The art of compromise: Obtaining something that nobody wants but everybody can accept Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge In consensus-driven environments: Smart people who get things done propose whatever gets consensus fastest Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge
  6. 6. 11/10/2010 6 Getting from good UX to great UX There’s nothing wrong with good —it’s that getting to great requires a different approach Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge While it’s always safe to get consensus, there’s no courage in consensus or compromise Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge Do you really have to ask? You can’t always be certain, but you can usually be right Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge Suppose you have a question, and there’s a 99% chance you know the answer 1% chance you don’t Do you ask anyway? Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge
  7. 7. 11/10/2010 7 Apparently some designers don’t like those odds Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge The classic excuse: We don’t know for sure what users want or do Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge
  8. 8. 11/10/2010 8 The foundation of all UX design: You can’t design for random people doing random things —you must design for specific targets Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge If you don’t know what users are likely going to do or want, you don’t know your users! Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge The McKay/Turing Test: If a question would be stupid for a person to ask, it’s stupid for your program to ask Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge While it’s always safe to ask, there’s no courage in asking unnecessary questions Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge The ideal UX is both powerful and simple
  9. 9. 11/10/2010 9 What is simplicity? Simplicity is the reduction or elimination of design elements that target users are aware of and consider unessential Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge Simplicity is the reduction or elimination of design elements that target users are aware of and consider unessential Simplicity is the reduction or elimination of design elements that target users are aware of and consider unessential Simplicity is the reduction or elimination of design elements that target users are aware of and consider unessential Copyright2010 UX Design Edge “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Albert Einstein The classic excuse: We don’t know for sure what users want or do Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge Q: What does 0.0033% represent? A: The probability a user really wanted Caps Lock on while typing a password Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge “I have only made this letter longer because I have not the time to make it shorter.” Blaise Pascal
  10. 10. 11/10/2010 10 While it’s safe to offer everything, there’s no courage in complexity Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge All software has a personality Whether intentional or not… All software has a personality Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge
  11. 11. 11/10/2010 11 Showing your personality makes you vulnerable Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge Talk about doing the opposite… Too often software is rude, unforgiving, and dull Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge Why be rude? Why be unforgiving? Why be dull? While it’s safe to avoid showing personality, there’s no courage in being rude, unforgiving, or dull Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge
  12. 12. 11/10/2010 12 Good decisions require good data “You can't manage what you can't measure.” W. Edwards Deming Data helps solve the HiPPO problem Making decisions based on data is safe Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge Copyright2010 UX Design Edge “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Albert Einstein “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Henry Ford
  13. 13. 11/10/2010 13 A potential problem: Data is backward looking Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge “…data eventually becomes a crutch for every decision, paralyzing the company and preventing it from making any daring design decisions. Yes, it’s true that a team at Google couldn’t decide between two blues, so they’re testing 41 shades between each blue to see which one performs better. I had a recent debate over whether a border should be 3, 4 or 5 pixels wide, and was asked to prove my case.” Douglas Bowman
  14. 14. 11/10/2010 14 What you do with data is the key While good design follows data, great design leads with it Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge How to tell the difference Do you say “The data proves that…” or do you say “Our interpretation of the data suggests that…” Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge While data offers safety, there’s no courage in following data Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge You can’t escape your team’s culture MMC Team: “We ship our org chart”
  15. 15. 11/10/2010 15 Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge Conway’s Law: “Organizations are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of their organizations.” “We ship our culture! We must fix our culture first.” August de los Reyes Every artifact an organization creates is an embodiment of its culture Important question: Can individual designers create products that transcends their team’s culture? Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge My answer: No! Any organization that doesn’t reward great design will produce mediocrity Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge Attention managers: If you have a great team shipping mediocre products, it’s because your culture rewards mediocrity Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge
  16. 16. 11/10/2010 16 No manager’s career or compensation was harmed during the making of this mediocre user experience. Copyright2010 UX Design Edge The Innovator's Cultural Dilemma Over time, team cultures drift towards safety and discourage courageous design Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge “You can measure the greatness of a user experience by the courage required to design it” Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge If you remember only one thing… Want to learn more? Check my website: uxdesignedge.com Subscribe to my blog Register for Good UX to Great UX Copyright 2010 UX Design Edge Thank you!

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