Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Applied Empathy: A Design Framework for Meeting Human Needs and Desires

Usability testing is not the only way to achieve good usability ...

"The design community keeps making a lot of noise about designing for people/users/customers. However, while this notion is well-intentioned and even conceptually correct, I find much of it boils down to empty rhetoric. What exactly are we doing? More user research? More usability testing? Certainly these are valid approaches to finding out about people’s needs, but they’re only a small part of an optimal solution. Are we using hollow tasks and tools like personas and scenarios? Those approaches typically take design farther away from the people for whom we are designing products rather than closer. How about focusing on usability and the user experience? That gets at only part of the issue and tends to come from the perspective of the product—as opposed to the more universal needs and desires of actual people.

No. The methods most UX professionals typically use today are, at best, incomplete and, at worst, without any meaningful focus. There is not a successful, established approach and framework for closely linking the real-world needs and desires of our potential customers into the DNA of product strategy and development. Sure, there are various examples of the integration of users’ needs and product strategy being successfully accomplished in some cases, but they are more the outcome of clear vision and talented design than an intentional, strategic product architecture that really accommodates people’s needs."    (Continued via UXmatters)    [Usability Resources]

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