Communicating the need for context and "it depends" (Was: Does eye-tracking carry any real meaning?)

21 Nov 2007 - 6:05pm
6 years ago
1 reply
603 reads
dmitryn
2004

Indeed. The difference between the tone of the comments on this list
and those for the original post is astounding. A little knowledge is a
dangerous thing, especially when it is backed by "actionable"
conclusions from a "scientific" study.

It is tempting to dismiss pronouncements like this as clueless. But,
the number of people who are ready to rush off and follow them is
probably much greater than the number of subscribers to this list. :)

So how can we communicate the need to take any given set of "design
guidelines" with a grain of salt and apply them in context to the
wider community?

Dmitry

On Nov 21, 2007 11:50 AM, Leisa Reichelt <leisa.reichelt at gmail.com> wrote:
> just a little sidenote:
>
> it is fascinating to read the comments that people have left to the
> originally quoted article - lots and lots of incredibly positive and
> thankful comments with people talking of going back and redesigning
> their sites as a result of this information.
>
> it says a lot for the great demand out there for someone to make these
> grand pronouncements about what works and what doesn't (with or
> without context).
>
> People do love their rules don't they.
>
> I always find it a constant balancing act to try to give people this
> sense of perceived value through pronouncements and actually getting
> them to understand the context in which the design decisions are being
> made.
> ________________________
> Leisa Reichelt
> Disambiguity.com
>
> leisa.reichelt at gmail.com
> +44 778 071 2129
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

Comments

21 Nov 2007 - 7:12pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

>
> It is tempting to dismiss pronouncements like this as clueless. But,
> the number of people who are ready to rush off and follow them is
> probably much greater than the number of subscribers to this list. :)

Great point! I think about this often, for example, whenever I see a blog
post or something that contains totally inaccurate or misleading
information. I think about all those poor people reading it that will take
it to heart and run with it, only to find out later the post was, well, bad.

The post about "actionable lessons from eye-tracking" was blogged about by
Seth Godin today. With an audience the size of his, a huge chunk of people
are now walking into the future armed with the belief that eye-tracking is
amazingly useful and that the so-called lessons on that list are
tried-and-true and should be applied regardless of the situation.

So how can we communicate the need to take any given set of "design
> guidelines" with a grain of salt and apply them in context to the
> wider community?

Tie up all the design and development bloggers of the world and force feed
them canned spinach until they promise to add disclaimers to their posts
that say, "As always, the real answer is 'It depends.'"?

Just a thought.

-r-

Syndicate content Get the feed