Good Guesses: Making Better Interaction Design Decisions Derek Boccara
“It depends.” the elements of user experience — 29 february 2012
The best designers aren’t the ones who are the smartest or are the best trained or do the most research or have the most experience. The best designers are those that make the best guesses. This should be a comfort to some of you (those like me who aren’t an Ivy League genius who has been designing for 30 years) and a shock to others, I’m sure. Now, I’m not saying that training or intelligence or research or experience aren’t important. They are. What I am saying is that a good hunch–a really good hunch–might sometimes come up with a better design.
If the way to becoming a great designer is to make great guesses, how do we do that? How do we improve our guesses?
…in a method- agnostic way? the elements of user experience
I don’t want to simply offer up another method to you either. Personas!
Do more research! More card sorting! Draw comics! Yes, these are all great techniques, but I want to get at the heart of what we do AFTER and WHILE we’re doing other techniques: making guesses.
Understand how we make decisions. Consider many factors in making decisions. the elements of user experience
Here’s my suggestions and the outline of this talk. By understanding a little about the structures and mechanisms of decisions, we might not do them differently than we do them now–although perhaps not. Part II of this idea is how we set about making those decisions. What should we as interaction designers consider when we make decisions? Perhaps a pause–an extra second or two–for every decision we make will have us make wildly better decisions. But ﬁrst, how do we make decisions.
I’m going to preface this section of the talk by saying that I’m not an expert in cognitive psychology. You can’t talk about decision-making these days without talking about Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink. In it, he makes the case that rapid, snap- judgement decisions can be as effective–if not more-so–than reﬂective, considered decisions. He uses the example of the Aeron chair which users initially hated but went on to be a huge best-seller and design icon