the ten commandments of UX

UX is a thread that runs through all of our disciplines, and which no discipline owns or controls. Everyone is a UX professional to one level or another (“t-shaped people”).

Morville's ux honeycomb: to get to value, create products that are findable, usable, useful, desirable, accessible, and credible.

[ session description ]

Raina Van Cleave @rainaterror
Nick Finck @nickf
13 March 2010
Rosenfeld Media: discount code NICKFINCK
What is UX?

Ten Commandments

  1. The user is always right. Companies do tend to focus on their own needs rather than the user. Approach UI design from the user’s perspective. What is the sweet spot between business objectives, technical requirements, and the customer/client/user’s needs?
  2. Understand the user. Use personas to get at the information that drives user needs/actions/behavior. A persona needs to be advocated throughout an organization.
  3. Avoid solutioneering. Don’t put the solution before the problem.
  4. Form follows function. “Form must play within the general realm of the familiar for easily understood functions.” ~ Thomas Vander Wal. Every project has a primary function that should drive the core shape of the product.
  5. Content is king. Design is about communication (and it takes more than pixels to communicate). Users scan quickly, this makes your content more important than anything else. It makes heading choices more critical.
  6. Innovate, do not imitate. Making things more efficient is valuable, but there is a ceiling. Seek to create a new value, a new service that wasn’t possible before. The most advanced type of portlet, for example, is one that aggregates data from two or more sources to allow the user to take action on things they never could before.
  7. Access is for everyone. From the beginning, create tools that are universally inclusive by different ages, abilities, cultures, and devices.
  8. Plan before you design. Information Architecture, Interaction Design, and Content Strategy. “With our users in mind and the right vision we can plan, and develop successful applications.” ~ Aaron Irizarry.
  9. Understand the goal. “Executives can no longer afford to formulate strategy without embracing user experience.” ~ Peter Morville. How easy is a tool to use the first time a user visits, and how does that change on a return visit? How do you handle errors? If a user is only going to have the opportunity to do one thing on your site, what would that be? (May be different for different personas.)
  10. Learn from failure. Set yourself up to learn from unexpected failures, as the only way to recover value from the effort. “Failure is success if we learn from it.” ~ Malcolm Forbes. Don’t walk away. Try another approach. Use the beta model to allow space for failure.