Quotation-as-title from Nietzsche. Image from top-linked post.
Making a good product is an important responsibility, especially if the product is close enough to someone that it can be the difference between life and death. Even though the end result might by calm, designing a calm, human-centered product requires some anxiety and perfectionism from everyone on the team, not just the designer.
She’s designed a Calm Design quiz, gives a score card for your product. As the quiz applicable to every kind of product, not just apps, it has questions that you can skip over if they’re not relevant — e.g. whether the products has physical buttons with a blue screen.
It’s a clever way to package up design principles, I think. For example, without reading her book, and over and above regular accessibility guidelines, I learned that the following might be good for MoodleNet:
- Stable interfaces
- Grouping frequently used icons
- Allowing users to prominently display favourite commands
- Turning Notifications off by default (except the most important ones)
- Allow export of user data at any time
- Include different notification types based on importance
- Maintain some functionality even without internet connection
It’s a great approach, and it would be very interesting to score some of most favourite (and least favourite) products. For example, as I said to Dai during the podcast when we discussed this, my Volvo V60’s driver display would score pretty highly.
Source: Amber Case
That products should be ‘user-focused’ goes without queustion these days. At least by everyone apart from Cassie Robinson, who writes:
This has been sitting uncomfortably with me for a while now. In part that’s because when anything becomes a bit of a dogma I question it, but it’s also because I couldn’t quite marry the mantra to my own personal experiences.
Sometimes, there’s more than user stories and ‘jobs to be done’:
For example, if we are designing the new digital justice system using success measures based on how efficiently the user can complete the thing they are trying to do rather than on whether they actually receive justice, what’s at risk there? And if we prioritise that over time, are we in some way eroding the collective awareness of what “good” justice as an outcome looks like?
She makes a good point. Robinson suggests that we consider ‘moral needs’ as well as ‘user needs’:
Designing and iterating services based on current user needs and behaviours means that they are never being designed for who isn’t there. Whose voice isn’t in the data? And how will the new institutions that are needed be created unless we focus more on collective agency and collective needs?
As I continue my thinking around Project MoodleNet this is definitely something to bear in mind.
Source: Cassie Robinson