The User is NOT like me!

We love our ourselves but we love our ideas even more. Each idea that is generated in our minds are so ingenious and innovative that they can transform the world for good if they’re implemented. Only if people understood our ideas they would do so much better! Right?

Of course the views above are ridiculous but they’re a good reflection of how we design things. We are confident that we can come up with a solution to problems of the world be it global warming or the recent refugee crisis. It’s lucrative to think that if we think hard enough we’ll crunch out the most ingenious idea that’ll solve everything. Well guess what, even if you’re the smartest person alive, if you’re designing in a closed shell then you can only design great tools for yourself, because guess what, the user is not like you!!

Whenever I’m designing a game i force myself to trigger the question “Will this work with a bed-ridden, Hindi speaking 90 year old gentleman in India without Internet access?”. This always helps me get into a frame of a user centered designer, rather than a self-pleasing genius. Because unlike the ‘High arts’, design has limited space for self-expression and needs to be user-centric.

References

Thinking about People in Kolko, J. (2011). Thoughts on Interaction Design (2nd ed.) Burlington, MA: Morgan Kaufmann (pg. 20 – 39)

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