Here is a compilation of links to my previous blog posts about product and service design. My view is that successful design has to build on the user’s context and micro-situation. One needs to put oneself in the user’s shoes and really understand his or her situation, pre-understanding, and purpose for using the product or service. Failure to design from the user’s perspective can mean the difference between failure and success.
- For example, despite super glossy PC screens looking vibrant and stunning in the store, the reflections and intense brightness cause eyestrain with prolonged usage.
- Another example is the megapixel race for cameras. A sensor with too many megapixels is pointless as the cheap lens in a smartphone or cheap digital camera will be the limiting factor. In addition, a high megapixel sensor is less sensitive to low light conditions compared to a lens with a more modest pixel count. Where are most smartphone pictures taken – outdoors in bright sunlight or indoors? Again, technology-driven vendors ignore the user context.
- Design is important even for something as basic as mobile voicemail. If someone calls your mobile and you don’t answer, the call is forwarded to your voicemail after a few rings. Last time I checked (in Sweden), no operator offered more than 30 seconds before the call was forwarded. There are a number of situations where 30 seconds is simply too short. As a consumer, I want the option to set it to 45, 60 or 90 seconds. Again, a design decision that doesn’t take the user’s context into account.
- Bad customer support is both a design and organisational issue.