User error

About time I try to nudge my writing again.

At my job I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about UX and how it affects users’ experience with a particular system

I keep seeing people react to system misuse with “oh, we should add this to documentation”. And if they encounter this again, they think “Oh, we just didn’t make it visible enough, let’s add some BIG BOLD TEXT somewhere.”

Let me steal a quote from Dan Luu for a second:

“Good engineering eliminates users being able to do the wrong thing as much as possible… . You don’t design a feature that invites misuse and then use instructions to try to prevent that misuse.”

We, as people influencing the software development process, need to remember this. Try to get into users’ shoes and see things from their perspective. Make interfaces more eloquent and API’s more intuitive.

People will follow. They generally feel much better then they’re not regarded as someone who’s at fault for not reading a subsection of a 20-page doc somewhere.

 
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