nice read: On Apple's connection with the consumer

22 Sep 2009 - 4:18am
5 years ago
36 replies
1413 reads
Jarod Tang
2007

It may help resolve some long fights over Apple's design philosophy ?

" "We did iTunes because we all love music. We made what we thought was the
best jukebox in iTunes. Then we all wanted to carry our whole music
libraries around with us. The team worked really hard. And the reason that
they worked so hard is because we all wanted one. You know? I mean, the
first few hundred customers were us.

"It's not about pop culture, and it's not about fooling people, and it's not
about convincing people that they want something they don't. We figure out
what we want. And I think we're pretty good at having the right discipline
to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too.
That's what we get paid to do.
"
From:
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2008/fortune/0803/gallery.jobsqna.fortune/2.html

Cheers,
-- Jarod

--
@jarodtang
http://designforuse.blogspot.com/

Comments

22 Sep 2009 - 4:37am
Thomas Petersen
2008

Couldn't agree more.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895

22 Sep 2009 - 6:46am
dszuc
2005

Suggest part of this is selecting a few things to do and do them well
rather than do many things badly. Apple seem to have a knack of
choosing a few things to start with and then build up from there. Its
a refreshing move away from trying to build everything under the sun.

rgds,
Dan

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895

22 Sep 2009 - 7:11am
.pauric
2006

I think the quoted text is a nice spin on what happens in an ideal
world. When everyone wants what you want. It can be applied to a few
universal 'needs' such as music. Even with that said, this Genius
Design approach can fall flat on its face: Apple TV.

Where this approach does not work is when you do not have target
audiences in-house.

"think(ing) through whether a lot of other people are going to want
it, too"

Not wanting to start a semantics debate but this isnt Apple Secret
Sauce, that statement can incorporate any number if widely practiced
methods. When they get it right, they get it very right by artfully
removing the non-essential.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895

22 Sep 2009 - 7:12am
Dave Malouf
2005

Indeed Dan!

I was going to add that Apple also concentrates on products that will
primarily be bought by those who will be using them. Besides the
Xserve series of products almost everything is consumer product. And
yes, you could say that it is being sold through AT&T, the vast
majority of the marketing is Apple's and people only go to AT&T b/c
they have to (like me stuck w/ the closest apple store 4 hours away).
Ever notice that there isn't an iPhone add from AT&T like there is a
Pre add from Spring? Apple controls the message completely. (Of
course, in the case of the Pre Sprint does a better job than Palm.)

My point being is that in consumer products you can start by
designing for yourself really well. This philosophy though fails when
we start entering domains we are less familiar with but still have to
design for. Design consumer products for children, or seniors, or
medical products, or enterprise industrial products takes a fairly
different methodology so that we can gain the balance of emic/etic
perspectives to drive the design.

Notice that I said both of them. It is not merely an exercise to
"become the user", but rather to gain insights and understanding of
what derives meaning for "the other" while maintaining our distance
and personal perspectives.

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895

22 Sep 2009 - 7:31am
Thomas Petersen
2008

"Even with that said, this Genius Design approach can fall flat on
its face: Apple TV."

Of course it can, but so can UCD and I would claim do more so
regularly.

And I think that one have to separate the success of the products
from the usability of the product in this discussion.

Genious Design is not a guarantee for success, it's just makes it
more likely that you are able to advance your product the right way
and think about how things are connected.

Genius Design is a much more honest approach IMHO. But yes it
requires experienced designers/UX/developers. And I think that is
what our clients pay for.

Who was it who said that "Nobody ever built a statue of a comité" ?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895

22 Sep 2009 - 7:44am
Jarod Tang
2007

"The team worked really hard. And the reason that they worked so hard is
because we all wanted one. You know? I mean, the first few hundred customers
were us."
1. The team ( design and implementation team ) fight hard for the good
design ( this is hardly achieved by consultant design team )

"We figure out what we want."
2. The inner user group (and they overlaped with the design/engineering
team) care about it. ( the user that care about the product influence the
product design)

""So you can't go out and ask people, you know, what the next big [thing.] "
3. this is most interesting, the design if future-oriented, it's super
normal ( normal for tomorrow ), and it's obvious not a genius design style
according Dan Saffer's definiton "Genius design is when the designer relies
on his or her own experience and skill to design, without any input from
users.", as jobs said " I mean, the first few hundred customers were us",
there's user instead of genius (close but different here?).

Regards,
-- Jarod

On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 2:31 PM, Thomas Petersen <tp at hellobrand.com> wrote:

> "Even with that said, this Genius Design approach can fall flat on
> its face: Apple TV."
>
> Of course it can, but so can UCD and I would claim do more so
> regularly.
>
> And I think that one have to separate the success of the products
> from the usability of the product in this discussion.
>
> Genious Design is not a guarantee for success, it's just makes it
> more likely that you are able to advance your product the right way
> and think about how things are connected.
>
> Genius Design is a much more honest approach IMHO. But yes it
> requires experienced designers/UX/developers. And I think that is
> what our clients pay for.
>
> Who was it who said that "Nobody ever built a statue of a comité" ?
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> 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
>

--
@jarodtang
http://designforuse.blogspot.com/

22 Sep 2009 - 8:12am
.pauric
2006

Thomas, I'm not going to be drawn in to a pointless debate over the
merits of GD v ACD v UCD.

If a design failed it was not because a particular methodology is
weak or wrong. The designers either chose the wrong methodology or
applied it while half baked.

You simply cannot claim UCD fails more than GD. In my previous job I
started as an engineer design networking hardware and then moved on to
designing the UIs. For the best part of 6 years I practiced GD very
successfully. Today, I'm in a multi year development program
revving an app thats used by the engineers as NASA who are building
the replacement for the shuttle
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_(spacecraft) among many other
applications that I cannot even begin to understand.

Are you for one moment saying I'm going to have a higher success
rate with GD? I know you're not, so be careful with blanket
statements.

There's the right tool for the right job. In the consumer domain
building UI's for products that you'd likely use yourself or at
least wrap your head around comfortably - GD all the way... but its a
much larger world out there, take the GD blinkers off!

respectfully /pauric

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895

22 Sep 2009 - 8:34am
Thomas Petersen
2008

Yes let's not get into that discussion :)

I don't think we disagree as such and I have already explained where
I think UCD makes sense.

I am talking in general terms not specific.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895

22 Sep 2009 - 8:46am
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Sep 22, 2009, at 9:44 AM, Jarod Tang wrote:

> ""So you can't go out and ask people, you know, what the next big
> [thing.] "
> 3. this is most interesting, the design if future-oriented, it's super
> normal ( normal for tomorrow ), and it's obvious not a genius design
> style
> according Dan Saffer's definiton "Genius design is when the designer
> relies
> on his or her own experience and skill to design, without any input
> from
> users.", as jobs said " I mean, the first few hundred customers
> were us",
> there's user instead of genius (close but different here?).

Yes, this seems more like self design than genius design, by our
definitions of the five decision styles:
http://www.uie.com/articles/five_design_decision_styles/

Jared

22 Sep 2009 - 8:52am
Thomas Petersen
2008

I don't think GD or what I have proposed have ever been "don't
include users in your design process"

The main disagreement seem to be WHERE to include them and for what.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895

22 Sep 2009 - 9:06am
Jarod Tang
2007

Thanks Jared.

The link is very interesting, a question: If self design could be marked as
a implementation of UCD, or they just over-lapped ( it more looks like a
strict form of participatory design? )

-- Jarod

On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 10:46 PM, Jared Spool <jspool at uie.com> wrote:

>
> On Sep 22, 2009, at 9:44 AM, Jarod Tang wrote:
>
> ""So you can't go out and ask people, you know, what the next big [thing.]
>> "
>> 3. this is most interesting, the design if future-oriented, it's super
>> normal ( normal for tomorrow ), and it's obvious not a genius design style
>> according Dan Saffer's definiton "Genius design is when the designer
>> relies
>> on his or her own experience and skill to design, without any input from
>> users.", as jobs said " I mean, the first few hundred customers were us",
>> there's user instead of genius (close but different here?).
>>
>
> Yes, this seems more like self design than genius design, by our
> definitions of the five decision styles:
> http://www.uie.com/articles/five_design_decision_styles/
>
> Jared
>
>

--
@jarodtang
http://designforuse.blogspot.com/

22 Sep 2009 - 10:03am
ambroselittle
2008

I think drawing too many general design principle inferences from Apple is
dangerous for many of the reasons given. The main one for me is context and
purpose. Their approach works for them because of who they are and what
they are trying to make.
I thought the same thing watching the Palm WebOS guy at UX Week. They could
avoid doing much design research because the problem space was really well
known and familiar to them (and most of us). At least, that's why they
could do what they did, IMO. I'm not sure that what I've seen of that OS is
particularly innovative or impressive from my perspective, but it sounds
like it is being successful for them.

On the other hand, it seems like much of what designers are called upon to
design for are not these sort of horizontal, nearly universal problems we
all have experience with. Often we are tasked with designing for problem
spaces that are new to us and/or just new in general. In these cases,
sitting as a team in a conf room and imagining and speculating only goes so
far.

I see the need for design research on a continuum with the key factors
increasing the need being: lack of familiarity with the problem space and
need for innovation. The latter may sound counter intuitive if you are an
advocate for "not asking people what they need" to innovate, and that's
true, but design research (as I understand it) does not mean that. It means
you go out to understand as much as you can of the contexts, needs, desires,
activities, and so on and use that as input and positive constraints to come
up with creative design solutions.

Anyways, I'm all for trying to learn from successful folks like Apple, but
we need to keep in mind the context and purpose, IMO, when doing so. We
might also need to keep in mind that, simply put, we're not Apple.

-ambrose

22 Sep 2009 - 10:21am
Dave Malouf
2005

Jarod equating "self-design" with "UCD" is a slippery slope and in
my mind ignores the most core principle of UCD, at least the way it
has been taught to me and the ways I see the best/famous
methodologies taught to others ... That is ...

"YOU are not the user!"

This refrain is a core fundamental element of the philosphy around
almost every method of UCD and to remove it by saying that I am a
human being and thus designing for me means I'm doing UCD breaks the
boundaries of UCD so far that UCD then becomes nothing except to mean
the consideration of any human being within any context of the use of
a product or service. Oh! what everyone does regardless of methods or
philosophy.

I.e. if i'm an engineer and I build an engineering-centric design,
well the engineer is human and I'm sure there will be at least 1
person who is engineering-minded who uses the tool, so ergo it must
be UCD-driven.

In my mind it is more accurate to say that "self-design" is a
subcategory of genius design in so far as both rely heavily on past
experience with human beings in the contexts that they are designing
for and make use of those insights to design without need for further
elaboration of the research. The only difference is that "self
design" the insights are completely from within, while genius design
can be from within or from other sources as well.

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895

22 Sep 2009 - 11:02am
Jarod Tang
2007

Firstly, I love the self design concept very much (thanks Jared again,
before i knew it, i call/practice it Immerse Design for myself).

On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 5:21 PM, dave malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:

> Jarod equating "self-design" with "UCD" is a slippery slope and in
> my mind ignores the most core principle of UCD, at least the way it
> has been taught to me and the ways I see the best/famous
> methodologies taught to others ... That is ...
>
> "YOU are not the user!"
>
> Is UCD's core principle not the"make design decision according to user's
interests first ( than technology, business, stakeholders etc )" ?

And back to the quote "the first few hundred customers were us", what
matters more to the design results? (a/ we are the users, so we can tell
what matters more easily; b/ we have the experience?)

This refrain is a core fundamental element of the philosphy around
> almost every method of UCD and to remove it by saying that I am a
> human being and thus designing for me means I'm doing UCD breaks the
> boundaries of UCD so far that UCD then becomes nothing except to mean
> the consideration of any human being within any context of the use of
> a product or service. Oh! what everyone does regardless of methods or
> philosophy.
>
> I.e. if i'm an engineer and I build an engineering-centric design,
> well the engineer is human and I'm sure there will be at least 1
> person who is engineering-minded who uses the tool, so ergo it must
> be UCD-driven.
>

Is UCD exists, as you mentioned, because designer and user's separation?
Or UCD stands because other non-UCD styles of design's existence (i'm not
mean which is better or not here)? like

1. Business Interests Centered Design
2. Technology driven/centered design (one of the reason that stimulated
UCD comes into life)
3. Balance design ( no center elements, designers balance the elements
situatedly )
4. Stakeholder Design ( design decision comes from different stakeholders
)
5. or Genius Design??? ( i'm not very sure if it go with or without the
apple case here)
6. etc

For the case Apple, what makes more sense?

Regards,
-- Jarod

In my mind it is more accurate to say that "self-design" is a
> subcategory of genius design in so far as both rely heavily on past
> experience with human beings in the contexts that they are designing
> for and make use of those insights to design without need for further
> elaboration of the research. The only difference is that "self
> design" the insights are completely from within, while genius design
> can be from within or from other sources as well.
>
> -- dave
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> 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
>

--
@jarodtang
http://designforuse.blogspot.com/

22 Sep 2009 - 10:57am
Jack L. Moffett
2005

On Sep 22, 2009, at 12:03 PM, J. Ambrose Little wrote:

> Often we are tasked with designing for problem
> spaces that are new to us and/or just new in general. In these cases,
> sitting as a team in a conf room and imagining and speculating only
> goes so
> far.

Exactly! I've spent my entire career (so far) working on such
problems. There is a big difference between designing for the general
populace (consumer products and the majority of web services) and
designing for a specific domain. I think that missing this distinction
is in part what drives those debates over the usefulness of UCD. This
is, in fact, the context for my submission to Interaction 10 (comments
welcome: http://bit.ly/17rUlf ).

Apple can design for themselves because a phone, or a music player, or
an operating system, has a very generic target user group. I can't
design for myself when creating tools for explosive ordnance disposal
(EOD) units.

Best,
Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Senior Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.459.0310 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

Design is a process -
an intimate collaboration between
engineers, designers, and clients.

- Henry Dreyfuss

22 Sep 2009 - 11:20am
Dave Malouf
2005

Let's not confuse things here.
There are many axis to UCD and the result and the way we get there 2 of
those axis. So when I say core principle and you say core principle we are
not discussing the same axis UCD. But then again, maybe we are and maybe we
are both right, which goes back to my original point that UCD is
meaningless.

But going back to my point ... if UCD is literal ... user consideration over
all other considerations ... truly user-centered, then looking at the Apple
story (this version of it), then you are right. But we know there is much
more to iTunes and iPod than just this story.

But to me UCD is not just about that part of being literal, but is meant to
be a category title for a philosophy and specific set of methods and tools
(every expanding, but still limited) and one of those core factors is "you
are not the user". So from this perspective I'm right and you're wrong.

But moving along ... Apple makes great shit, b/c Apple is Apple ... I agree
w/ Ambrose that we need to be cautious to look too closely and make too many
assertions that Apple does X or Y or Z and so should we or this means.

-- dave

On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 1:02 PM, Jarod Tang <jarod.tang at gmail.com> wrote:

> Firstly, I love the self design concept very much (thanks Jared again,
> before i knew it, i call/practice it Immerse Design for myself).
>
> On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 5:21 PM, dave malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Jarod equating "self-design" with "UCD" is a slippery slope and in
>> my mind ignores the most core principle of UCD, at least the way it
>> has been taught to me and the ways I see the best/famous
>> methodologies taught to others ... That is ...
>>
>> "YOU are not the user!"
>>
>> Is UCD's core principle not the"make design decision according to user's
> interests first ( than technology, business, stakeholders etc )" ?
>
> And back to the quote "the first few hundred customers were us", what
> matters more to the design results? (a/ we are the users, so we can tell
> what matters more easily; b/ we have the experience?)
>
> This refrain is a core fundamental element of the philosphy around
>> almost every method of UCD and to remove it by saying that I am a
>> human being and thus designing for me means I'm doing UCD breaks the
>> boundaries of UCD so far that UCD then becomes nothing except to mean
>> the consideration of any human being within any context of the use of
>> a product or service. Oh! what everyone does regardless of methods or
>> philosophy.
>>
>> I.e. if i'm an engineer and I build an engineering-centric design,
>> well the engineer is human and I'm sure there will be at least 1
>> person who is engineering-minded who uses the tool, so ergo it must
>> be UCD-driven.
>>
>
> Is UCD exists, as you mentioned, because designer and user's separation?
> Or UCD stands because other non-UCD styles of design's existence (i'm not
> mean which is better or not here)? like
>
> 1. Business Interests Centered Design
> 2. Technology driven/centered design (one of the reason that stimulated
> UCD comes into life)
> 3. Balance design ( no center elements, designers balance the elements
> situatedly )
> 4. Stakeholder Design ( design decision comes from different
> stakeholders )
> 5. or Genius Design??? ( i'm not very sure if it go with or without the
> apple case here)
> 6. etc
>
> For the case Apple, what makes more sense?
>
> Regards,
> -- Jarod
>
> In my mind it is more accurate to say that "self-design" is a
>> subcategory of genius design in so far as both rely heavily on past
>> experience with human beings in the contexts that they are designing
>> for and make use of those insights to design without need for further
>> elaboration of the research. The only difference is that "self
>> design" the insights are completely from within, while genius design
>> can be from within or from other sources as well.
>>
>> -- dave
>>
>>
>> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
>> Posted from the new ixda.org
>> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895
>>
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> 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
>>
>
>
>
> --
> @jarodtang
> http://designforuse.blogspot.com/
>

--
Dave Malouf
http://davemalouf.com/
http://twitter.com/daveixd
http://scad.edu/industrialdesign
http://ixda.org/

22 Sep 2009 - 12:10pm
Mark Schraad
2006

On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 11:57 AM, Jack Moffett <jackmoffett at mac.com> wrote:

>
> Exactly! I've spent my entire career (so far) working on such problems.
> There is a big difference between designing for the general populace
> (consumer products and the majority of web services) and designing for a
> specific domain. I think that missing this distinction is in part what
> drives those debates over the usefulness of UCD. This is, in fact, the
> context for my submission to Interaction 10 (comments welcome:
> http://bit.ly/17rUlf ).
>

It is also one a principal renders personae of little use to some of us.
When you have 30 million uniques a day... its a little hard to capture
useful specificity. What am I going to do with 50 personas? And five won't
work either.

Mark

22 Sep 2009 - 1:20pm
Jack L. Moffett
2005

On Sep 22, 2009, at 2:10 PM, mark schraad wrote:

> It is also one a principal renders personae of little use to some of
> us. When you have 30 million uniques a day... its a little hard to
> capture useful specificity. What am I going to do with 50 personas?
> And five won't work either.

Absolutely. To expound upon your comment, Apple could create a persona
of a teenage boy who loves dogs, skateboarding, and his Playstation—
and it would be completely useless. Even if they went into details
about how he wants to move his music between locations and devices,
the persona wouldn't matter—only the tasks would, and they could just
as easily apply to persona #32 of the middle-age female real estate
agent that drives an SUV.

Now, if you take my example of an EOD warfighter, a persona becomes
much much more specific, and consequently more useful. I don't use
"personas" so much as I do roles, tasks, and scenarios, but that's a
different discussion.

Best,
Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Senior Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.459.0310 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

Engineers make things.
[Designers] make people love them.
- Karl Fast

22 Sep 2009 - 10:59am
Jack L. Moffett
2005

On Sep 22, 2009, at 2:11 AM, pauric wrote:

> Even with that said, this Genius
> Design approach can fall flat on its face: Apple TV.

Pauric,

I realize this is just an example and not the point of this thread,
but I'm curious as to why you think Apple TV has fallen flat on its
face. I would beg to differ.

Best,
Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Senior Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.459.0310 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

Questions about whether design
is necessary or affordable
are quite beside the point:
design is inevitable.

The alternative to good design
is bad design, not no design at all.

- Douglas Martin

22 Sep 2009 - 3:53pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Sep 22, 2009, at 9:21 AM, dave malouf wrote:

> In my mind it is more accurate to say that "self-design" is a
> subcategory of genius design in so far as both rely heavily on past
> experience with human beings in the contexts that they are designing
> for and make use of those insights to design without need for further
> elaboration of the research. The only difference is that "self
> design" the insights are completely from within, while genius design
> can be from within or from other sources as well.

I think that's a good delineation.

Jared

22 Sep 2009 - 3:54pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Sep 22, 2009, at 12:57 PM, Jack Moffett wrote:

> I can't design for myself when creating tools for explosive ordnance
> disposal (EOD) units.

Brings new meaning to the notion that a product could bomb.

Jared

22 Sep 2009 - 3:51pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Sep 22, 2009, at 11:06 AM, Jarod Tang wrote:

> The link is very interesting, a question: If self design could be
> marked as a implementation of UCD, or they just over-lapped ( it
> more looks like a strict form of participatory design? )

UCD is a meaningless term in this context because everyone has a
different definition.

In my article, I was careful to use user-focused design instead, since
that moves the conversation away from the confused definitions.

Given that, I don't know how to answer your question.

Jared

Jared M. Spool
User Interface Engineering
510 Turnpike St., Suite 102, North Andover, MA 01845
e: jspool at uie.com p: +1 978 327 5561
http://uie.com Blog: http://uie.com/brainsparks Twitter: @jmspool

22 Sep 2009 - 4:13pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Sep 22, 2009, at 2:10 PM, mark schraad wrote:

> It is also one a principal renders personae of little use to some of
> us.
> When you have 30 million uniques a day... its a little hard to capture
> useful specificity. What am I going to do with 50 personas? And five
> won't
> work either.

This is why I push for personas to be on a functional level. You could
create a persona for a specific feature or function, say a
refrigerator selector or a home maintenance scheduler.

After each project, you'd put the personas into cold storage and
create new ones for the next one. Over time, you'd have a library and
you could find instances where you could resurrect specific personas
because they'd be applicable for the current functional focus.

Jared

22 Sep 2009 - 11:52pm
dszuc
2005

Good discussion.

Stepping slowly away from definitions for a moment, perhaps its
useful to look at the underlying thinking towards an attempt to build
a successful product.

For example:

* What functions are being designed in the first place?
* How are we helping to prioritize these functions towards market
launch?
* Do these functions have value in the first place? How do we assess
this? Who helps assess this?
* Is the product team thinking about the user at all? Do they care?
Are they rewarded for this thinking? How is this thinking being
informed?
* How do they think about the user or re-focus on the user at various
points? (using what tools?)
* How do they get other people in the product team to all march to
the same beat? (vision?)

Of course you can involve users from the start, but if the product
strategy is crap to begin with then it may not be the best time to
involve them. So ... and this may have already been mentioned in the
discussion, its not whether we should involve the user, rather its
"when is the right time to do it? (based on what?)

rgds,
Dan

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895

23 Sep 2009 - 1:39am
Jarod Tang
2007

On Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 1:20 AM, Dave Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:

> Let's not confuse things here.
> There are many axis to UCD and the result and the way we get there 2 of
> those axis. So when I say core principle and you say core principle we are
> not discussing the same axis UCD. But then again, maybe we are and maybe we
> are both right, which goes back to my original point that UCD is
> meaningless.
>
> Put away the name ( i;m not pro/against UCD for this case). The two stuff
looks not at two different axis, but two levels ( first decide the decision
making style, then may decide who's the user or not)
1. Firstly, the designer ( team ) hold a philosophy what serve as the final
decision justice ( business interest, tech interest or people's interests,
etc)
2. For the design decision, whose final justice is human, there comes the
problem, who's the user ( self, or others )
Like, for the apple/iPhone case, first decide serves the final
justice(implicit or explicit), then other problem?

> But going back to my point ... if UCD is literal ... user consideration
> over
> all other considerations ... truly user-centered, then looking at the Apple
> story (this version of it), then you are right. But we know there is much
> more to iTunes and iPod than just this story.
>
>

> But to me UCD is not just about that part of being literal, but is meant to
> be a category title for a philosophy and specific set of methods and tools
> (every expanding, but still limited) and one of those core factors is "you
> are not the user". So from this perspective I'm right and you're wrong.
>
>
@Jared & Dave
( very agree on not sticking to "UCD or not" problem)
Are there proper name sets for the difference on design decision style
according to the elements ( business, technology, people, and balancing all
the elements, etc)? (they exists there regardless if designer think which is
better or not, aren't they?)

> But moving along ... Apple makes great shit, b/c Apple is Apple ... I agree
> w/ Ambrose that we need to be cautious to look too closely and make too
> many
> assertions that Apple does X or Y or Z and so should we or this means.
>
>
@Ambrose & Dave, thanks for the very kindly notification ( at least for me )
>From my own education/practice, design discussion seems more effective by
case ( Reasoning by case, or Projects), or it may more likely goes to the
wild. For this case, I propose there comes more case/real world projects (
instead of going to opinion vs opinion style?

Thanks&Regards
-- Jarod

-- dave
>
>
> On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 1:02 PM, Jarod Tang <jarod.tang at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Firstly, I love the self design concept very much (thanks Jared again,
> > before i knew it, i call/practice it Immerse Design for myself).
> >
> > On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 5:21 PM, dave malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> Jarod equating "self-design" with "UCD" is a slippery slope and in
> >> my mind ignores the most core principle of UCD, at least the way it
> >> has been taught to me and the ways I see the best/famous
> >> methodologies taught to others ... That is ...
> >>
> >> "YOU are not the user!"
> >>
> >> Is UCD's core principle not the"make design decision according to user's
> > interests first ( than technology, business, stakeholders etc )" ?
> >
> > And back to the quote "the first few hundred customers were us", what
> > matters more to the design results? (a/ we are the users, so we can tell
> > what matters more easily; b/ we have the experience?)
> >
> > This refrain is a core fundamental element of the philosphy around
> >> almost every method of UCD and to remove it by saying that I am a
> >> human being and thus designing for me means I'm doing UCD breaks the
> >> boundaries of UCD so far that UCD then becomes nothing except to mean
> >> the consideration of any human being within any context of the use of
> >> a product or service. Oh! what everyone does regardless of methods or
> >> philosophy.
> >>
> >> I.e. if i'm an engineer and I build an engineering-centric design,
> >> well the engineer is human and I'm sure there will be at least 1
> >> person who is engineering-minded who uses the tool, so ergo it must
> >> be UCD-driven.
> >>
> >
> > Is UCD exists, as you mentioned, because designer and user's separation?
> > Or UCD stands because other non-UCD styles of design's existence (i'm
> not
> > mean which is better or not here)? like
> >
> > 1. Business Interests Centered Design
> > 2. Technology driven/centered design (one of the reason that
> stimulated
> > UCD comes into life)
> > 3. Balance design ( no center elements, designers balance the elements
> > situatedly )
> > 4. Stakeholder Design ( design decision comes from different
> > stakeholders )
> > 5. or Genius Design??? ( i'm not very sure if it go with or without
> the
> > apple case here)
> > 6. etc
> >
> > For the case Apple, what makes more sense?
> >
> > Regards,
> > -- Jarod
> >
> > In my mind it is more accurate to say that "self-design" is a
> >> subcategory of genius design in so far as both rely heavily on past
> >> experience with human beings in the contexts that they are designing
> >> for and make use of those insights to design without need for further
> >> elaboration of the research. The only difference is that "self
> >> design" the insights are completely from within, while genius design
> >> can be from within or from other sources as well.
> >>
> >> -- dave
> >>
> >>
> >> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> >> Posted from the new ixda.org
> >> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895
> >>
> >>
> >> ________________________________________________________________
> >> 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
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > @jarodtang
> > http://designforuse.blogspot.com/
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Dave Malouf
> http://davemalouf.com/
> http://twitter.com/daveixd
> http://scad.edu/industrialdesign
> http://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
>

--
@jarodtang
http://designforuse.blogspot.com/

23 Sep 2009 - 12:35pm
.pauric
2006

Jack: "I realize this is just an example and not the point of this
thread, but I'm curious as to why you think Apple TV has fallen flat
on its face. I would beg to differ."

In a word, sales.

Reading through Dan's great list of considerations its easy to see
how Apples approach can cost them dearly. Take, for example, the
recent 3 fold increase in sales of Apple TV units. There was no
change on Apple's part, however the release of 3rd party software
Boxee is universally attributed to the increase in market share.
Apple's form over function being corrected by user's improving the
_overall_ design (o;

Boxee: http://www.boxee.tv/homepage/
http://www.appletvhacks.net/2009/02/05/apple-tv-sales-triple-why/

/pauric

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895

23 Sep 2009 - 12:59pm
Adam Korman
2004

I think this view is rooted in a misunderstanding of what personas are
and what they are meant to be used for. Among other things, personas
are a way to represent research about the commonalities among your
user's goals and behavior patterns in a manageable way. I find it hard
to believe that there is research that bears out that you have 50
completely distinct sets of high-level goals and behavior patterns
among your users (or that if you do, that these people can all be
successfully served by one product).

I know that personas aren't the only way to approach these questions
and they are not the only tool you need to create a successful
product, but they can definitely work for mass consumer products.

-Adam

On Sep 22, 2009, at 11:10 AM, mark schraad wrote:

> On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 11:57 AM, Jack Moffett <jackmoffett at mac.com>
> wrote:
>
>>
>> There is a big difference between designing for the general populace
>> (consumer products and the majority of web services) and designing
>> for a
>> specific domain. I think that missing this distinction is in part
>> what
>> drives those debates over the usefulness of UCD.

> It is also one a principal renders personae of little use to some of
> us.
> When you have 30 million uniques a day... its a little hard to capture
> useful specificity. What am I going to do with 50 personas? And five
> won't
> work either.

23 Sep 2009 - 4:07pm
Thomas Petersen
2008

"I think drawing too many general design principle inferences from
Apple is dangerous for many of the reasons given. The main one for me
is context and purpose. Their approach works for them because of who
they are and what they are trying to make."

Their approach works for anyone who cares about making great
products/services.

You can't process your way to a great product. You can use the
process to cover ground but there is no inherent quality
transcendence in the UCD process or any other for that matter that

You have to care about the actual product and not the process.

That requires intuition about how to transcend the task at hand into
something desirable. Apple has that but that does not mean you
shouldn't have it just because you are not Apple.

I know quite a few people who work(ed) at Apple and they are all
great designers with great intuition but they can't walk on water.
They have however a great leader who cares about great products.

Why on earth shouldn't an insurance company, a bank, a consultancy,
an online shop, an appliances company or what have you care for
making the best damn service available to mankind?

There is no reason not to.

@Jared

Have you done any research about online banks?

There is a whole blue ocean waiting with online banking going from
cost reduction argument to service improvement because of the
possibilities of RIA's.

Yet almost everyone I talk to think that their online banking
experience is great, which is no wonder since most of them suck so
they don't have anything to compare with.

And along came Mint.com and have turned the banking experience on
it's head providing real value for it's customers. (I am aware
Mint.com is not a bank but it could might as well had been)

It seems to me that UCD will always itself be caught in what Clayton
Christensen famously called "The Innovators Dilemma"

The new ideas that it get's is within the paradigme of the ideas
existing. I have yet to hear about any game changer derived from UCD.

Noboy ever built at statue of a comity ;-)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895

23 Sep 2009 - 4:08pm
Thomas Petersen
2008

"I think drawing too many general design principle inferences from
Apple is dangerous for many of the reasons given. The main one for me
is context and purpose. Their approach works for them because of who
they are and what they are trying to make."

Their approach works for anyone who cares about making great
products/services.

You can't process your way to a great product. You can use the
process to cover ground but there is no inherent quality
transcendence in the UCD process or any other for that matter that

You have to care about the actual product and not the process.

That requires intuition about how to transcend the task at hand into
something desirable. Apple has that but that does not mean you
shouldn't have it just because you are not Apple.

I know quite a few people who work(ed) at Apple and they are all
great designers with great intuition but they can't walk on water.
They have however a great leader who cares about great products.

Why on earth shouldn't an insurance company, a bank, a consultancy,
an online shop, an appliances company or what have you care for
making the best damn service available to mankind?

There is no reason not to.

@Jared

Have you done any research about online banks?

There is a whole blue ocean waiting with online banking going from
cost reduction argument to service improvement because of the
possibilities of RIA's.

Yet almost everyone I talk to think that their online banking
experience is great, which is no wonder since most of them suck so
they don't have anything to compare with.

And along came Mint.com and have turned the banking experience on
it's head providing real value for it's customers. (I am aware
Mint.com is not a bank but it could might as well had been)

It seems to me that UCD will always itself be caught in what Clayton
Christensen famously called "The Innovators Dilemma"

The new ideas that it get's is within the paradigme of the ideas
existing. I have yet to hear about any game changer derived from UCD.

Noboy ever built at statue of a comity ;-)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895

23 Sep 2009 - 7:36pm
dszuc
2005

"You have to care about the actual product and not the process." -
Like this from Thomas Petersen and suggest you also have to also
"care about the users" and there are plenty of companies who
believe they do, believe they know their user or are simply not in a
position to care (due to a whole host of reasons)

"Follow the user and all else will follow" -
http://www.google.com/corporate/tenthings.html

Perhaps not everyone in Google cares about the UX or great design but
having it as a top philosophy in a company that is by all accounts
predominantly "Engineering driven" cannot hurt the cause.

rgds,
Dan

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895

23 Sep 2009 - 5:30pm
ambroselittle
2008

Thomas Peterson said: "You can't process your way to a great
product...."

Nobody said that. I certainly didn't. Part of having a
conversation is listening to what the other is saying.

bye

-ambrose

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895

24 Sep 2009 - 1:17am
Thomas Petersen
2008

@Ambrose

I didn't say you did, sorry if it sounded like that. I was just
elaborating on my view.

@Daniel

Well "care about the user" what does that even mean?

Making great products is caring about the user, there you go problem
solved :)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895

24 Sep 2009 - 2:12am
dszuc
2005

Hi Thomas:

I see it as not giving lip service to the user. For example, lovely
posters pinned up in the office saying things like "customer
commitment" with pictures of flowing rivers ;) Or "your call is
important to us" when clearly its NOT!

Its about a focus to say who are we designing this for and constantly
applying hard questions, without compromising the user experience,
that this will make people love the product, tell their friends about
it and commit to the brand (somewhat blindly)

So "caring about the user" should really resonate closely with the
organizational culture towards building great stuff. Its almost an
"intangible buzz" in a place that makes you want to be a part of
it.

Is it a methodology? Perhaps ... but I see it more as a constant
state of thinking.

rgds,
Dan

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895

24 Sep 2009 - 3:29am
Thomas Petersen
2008

"I see it as not giving lip service to the user. For example, lovely
posters pinned up in the office saying things like "customer
commitment" with pictures of flowing rivers ; ) Or "your call is
important to us" when clearly its NOT!"

The department that would say this is not the department that would
do UX. So I am still wondering from a UX perspective what the even
means.

If you are in a business you are forced to focus on revenue and
budget not on your users. This does not mean that you shouldn't
understand the users, that is obviously as important as ever, but I
wonder how valuable, focusing on the users, the way I understand you,
really is, when it get's down to it.

Users generally don't

1. know what they want
2. know what they could get

So how would this care for the customer play itself out if not
through trying to create the best products that will make them love
you.

So this leaves us once again back to the problem of transcendence.

How does caring about the user really transcend into making better
products. I still haven't gotten anyone able to explain this.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895

24 Sep 2009 - 3:59am
Anonymous

Thomas said:

Users generally don't

1. know what they want
2. know what they could get

...

How does caring about the user really transcend into making better
products. I still haven't gotten anyone able to explain this.

___

If I could take a small, humble stab.

Generalizations and assumptions aside (however educated they may be -
I happen to be a user who more often than not _does_ know what he
wants and what he could get, as are many of my friends/acquaintances)
let's say that's true.

I'm not sure that knowing what they could get will help much.

But, I think it still holds true that users often DO know what they
DON'T want. If I care about my user, although my educated guesses and
research may point me in a good direction of where I should take the
design, I think they're even more powerful in helping understand where
I definitely should NOT go. That is very helpful. Avoiding creating
something they obviously don't want will help you to design something
more akin to what they do want, even if they/you don't know what that
is (at first).

In a similar situation - I had a PM who couldn't ever tell me what he
wanted me to design, just that he didn't like the designs I was giving
him. So eventually I asked the question - okay - so tell me exactly
what you DON'T want. That helped me short-circuit the runaround and
multiple iterations and eventually find a solution he did want much
more quickly - even though he couldn't articulate exactly what it was
he wanted until he saw it.

I think it often comes down to the car Homer Simpson designed - The
Homer: http://www.toycyte.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/thehomer.jpg

It's got everything the every-man could want, but no man (except
perhaps Homer) would every actually want it. The designers/builders @
Powell Motors did a ton of user research (on Homer) and created a
product that had everything he wanted and everything he knew he could
get. Just because it can do everything or has everything that the user
wanted and knew they could get didn't mean that they would
automatically create a better product - so there I agree w/ Thomas.
This comes down to the problem in the execution and usage of what the
every-man wanted though. They also let the user design the product -
so therein I think lie the ultimate failure.

If the designers had better executed the design based on the knowledge
they had, I think the product could have been a success. The
difference comes into play AFTER the designer has cared enough about
the user to gain insights into their goals and passions, then seeks to
create something that helps them achieve those goals, while delighting
them, and giving them something they might/will want, but definitely
NOT something they obviously won't want.

If you don't care about your user at all, how will you know what might
surprise and delight them? How will you know what their goals are? How
will you know if you're giving them something they will find value in
and embrace?

Brandon E. B. Ward
brandonebward at gmail.com
UI • UX • Ix Design
Flex • Flash Development
Portfolio: http://www.uxd.me
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/brandonebward
VisualCV: http://www.visualcv.com/brandonebward

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion,
butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance
accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders,
give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new
problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight
efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
- Robert A. Heinlein

24 Sep 2009 - 6:06am
dszuc
2005

"If you are in a business you are forced to focus on revenue and
budget not on your users."

Yes and perhaps thats the nature of business - make money, save
money, profit and hopefully along the way do good. Perhaps business
needs to change its model in a sustainable world? (but that's
another discussion) But ... Why can't a business focus on all 3? Why
are these mutually exclusive? Why not find a balance of all 3?

Suggest by pissing off your user base long enough they will be sure
to move on (unless of course they have no choice, as was the case
with mobility a few years back)

"know what they want"

Disagree and suggest users do know what they want, its just that they
may not always know how to articulate it. Or perhaps due to the
research approach don't feel in a position to offer the best
feedback they can (again another discussion)

Users certainly know when they have experienced a "crap product or
service" and in some cases have nice ideas on how to improve upon
it. Its embarrassing at times to have users tell us things that
should have been addressed by the business much earlier (again yet
another discussion)

Thomas, out of interest - How do you think about your target users in
the work you do?

rgds,
Dan

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45895

Syndicate content Get the feed