Some time back, when I was building a user experience research team for a company who’s name you are probably more familiar with than you’d like, I developed a list of five rules over time. Posted on the whiteboard outside my cubicle with a healthy dose of additional snark.
There was more than a decade between law number 1 and number 5. (Technically I think my first law pre-dates the web, but not stupid ideas about how to approach your work.)
I developed a handful more since I left that place in 2011. My guidelines for developing good user experiences came at a faster rate when I started doing government consulting. Draw whatever conclusion you’d like. I’ll attribute it to doing something different for a change.
For your consideration, distilled and aged from two decades in the trenches.
- There is no such thing as an internal customer.
- Deception is not a sustainable business model.
- A few words are worth a thousand pictures.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are things we aren’t talented enough to organize.
- Calling someone by their name is not personalization; it’s patronization.
- The alphabet is just another method for creating a random order.
- Don’t design for the 10s at the expense of the 1,000’s.
- If a visitor chooses to find a place on your site, don’t try to convince her to go somewhere else.
- Be explicit not implicit; apparent not intuitive.
- If you take the time to include something on your site, make sure you don’t hide it.
- Design is a process for solving problems. If you don’t or can’t define the problem, you won’t find the solution.
- A Strategy is not a pitch.
- Serendipity is not a preferred method for information retrieval.
- Help, doesn’t.
- Problems are to be solved, not admired.
- Innovation is good and all, but if a user has never seen anything like your UI before, bless your heart.
- Brown Bag Lunches do not a communications strategy make.
Oh, and about Feel Good Fricasee?