Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Screaming users considered good

Negative feedback can be more valuable thatn positive feedback ...

"We all know our users can have really strong opinions about our stuff. And we all know we need to listen carefully.

My very favorite user comment of all time came from a young woman who had been using this cool design tool (something I’d built) for about 12 weeks. At the end of the project, I was doing the standard debriefing of the users, asking what they liked and didn’t like, what worked, what didn’t work, what was frustrating… the usual sort of post mortem on a project.

She told me that my software, my baby, the thing I’d been working on for the past 2 years was “..the most white male fascist tool I’ve ever had the misfortune to use…”

... But in retrospect, I didn’t learn much from the nice folks who told me everything was fine and ducky. I did learn a great deal from the ones who struggled, my users that just didn’t get it, had really strong reactions or failures.

As Henry Petroski writes in To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design, we learn more from our failures than our successes. But only if we pay attention to the failures and figure out what to do right the next time."   (Continued via Creating Passionate Users)    [Usability Resources]

Lovely UI - Usability, User Interface Design

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