Why we should ignore users

sxsw, sunday panel

what i took from this panel was not that we should ignore what people are doing with technologies and experiences, but that we need to retool and redefine our expectations around what we’re looking for. we need to listen differently.

Robert Hoekman Jr Interaction Designer | Consultant, http://www.rhjr.net
Sarah Bloomer Principal, Sarah Bloomer & Co
Mark Schraad Sr User Interaction Designer, AOL
Christina Wodtke CEO, Cucina Media

During any interactions we have – with each other, our environment, technology, etc – 60-80% of what we do is subconscious. Things like our visual and cognitive acuity, motivations, experience and perceptions of the task/dilemma.

The primary thing in developing or designing anything is to have a broad repertoire fueling your inquiry – ethnographic or anthropological methods, looking at behaviour and cognition, social interactions, etc.
Observation, listening and communication are key – most people have a hard time identifying and articulating what they want – in most use cases it’s the unexpected experience, the mysterious thing that takes us all by surprise. And those are the things that tend to be communicated tacitly – through expectations, emotions, indirect knowledge. We are all one part of a bigger puzzle that includes external contexts, technologies, experiences, etc. Our activities are people centred.

Common methods to use in designing experiences, products and services, in understanding user’s needs are scenarios, personas, etc – but do these actually work. how much of your own experiences and expectations are you bringing to the table? How well can you choreograph the cues of a great and fulfilling user experience?

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One response to “Why we should ignore users

  1. Pingback: » So… who want’s some links?

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