Donald Arthur Norman has been a very prominent figure in the design world. Apart from that, he has founded several startups, is an author and more popularly, a very captivating speaker. He is best known by his books, especially the title, “The Design of Everyday Things”. Now, much of Don’s own design is centered on user friendliness. From doors to computers, he has been encouraging academics, creativity and technological innovation to refining existing products. His approach has always focused on designs that that have been able to simplify task structures, make things more visible, mapping things rightly, elimination of design errors, affordance, and exploiting the ‘power of constraints’. Let’s discuss some of his design tips that are applicable to our UI/UX industry.
1. The principles of design remain the same
According to Don, the basic principle of designing remains the same. Though time is changing and technology is evolving, the main goal of designing has always been to make things simpler to use, see, feel and understand.
2. Great products being a small part of the story
There could be an amazing solution to a specific problem but as long as the solution isn’t packaged well, it might fail to leave any consequences. User experience is the only thing that completes a product. The best example for this could be Apple – a company that based its products on user experience. If we begin to compare, the iPod provides the same functionality as the average walkman but iPod became more loved simply because the way it worked.
3. User experience must be complete
The aim of design, be it products or websites should not be limited to just the user experience but the entire interaction it has with the end user. As long as design doesn’t support functionality, it is as good as being useless.
4. Being late is better than being too early
Great designs might have integrated high end usability but it is also necessary to ensure that the end audience is ready for the new revolution. If you don’t have a strategy to be able to change the way a user interacts with your product/service/website, it is better not to lead the design innovation. Reception holds the clue to the success of your revolutionizing UI/UX.
5. Design isn’t the absolute necessity in MVP
If your products/service can offer high value to its customers, UX/UI won’t matter too much. However, this would only apply to the first iteration of the product. At later iterations, design will hold the key to adoption. So, if you are a startup business, don’t spend too heavily on UI. Focus on your core services and once you start making money, design would be the key in encouraging your customers to stay with you.
We all know how too many cooks can spoil the broth. Similarly, too many designers engaged in the same UI/UX blueprint will provide inconsistent products. Stick to a dictator of a chief designer and let him challenge himself!
Write in with your comments on which of these will be a part of your next UX Design project