It's interesting how a product experience can form a positive or negative perception of our abilities. Often times when we fail at something the natural tendency is to punish ourselves with a negative perception of our abilities. In short, we feel stupid. The opposite occurs when we successfully accomplish a task, especially when that task is thought to be difficult.
Products, especially software, have a tendency to expose these perceptions. Software is an expert in making us feel stupid. So who's calling who stupid? The software or the user. Ultimately we need to call the software (or the web site) stupid. Where am I going with this?
UX has the power to turn the table on software. It's time to join the revolution and show software who's boss. A revolutionary mind set -- Start treating humans like humans and treat machines like machines. How do does that happen? Put the user first. Stop competing on features. Start competing on simplicity and intuitive interaction. Who said you couldn't enjoy a product experience and want to come back for more?
Users shouldn't have to become an expert to use a common product or service. Users shouldn't have to become more like a machine to understand the machine. The machine needs to become more human.
When user experience becomes a priority in building a product, people will stop blaming themselves for failing. They'll stop feeling stupid. UX has the power to actually allow the user to walk away and feel smart. Smart because they accomplished the task in record time. Smart because they did it better than they ever did before. It's possible. It just has to be a priority.
Posted by Nate on Friday, August 8, 2008 / Labels: UX
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