Excuse the ramble… Andi –fellow IA– and I were chatting and we hit yet another one of those […]

Excuse the ramble…

Andi –fellow IA– and I were chatting and we hit yet another one of those moments when we start to say, “oh those stupid users” then we stop.. and say, “no it’s our job to make it easy”. I have a lot of these with IAs.

Even if users are dumb, they aren’t dumb. They need our help to do the things they wish to do: we need to create systems (programs websites etc) that actually work for them rather than show off our prowess for cleverness. It’s easy to make fun of or villianize the user as a lazy clueless burden… but it’s quite more effective to sympathize and try to create a systrem that meets the user’s needs and understanding of how the world works (much as we may wish to force them to learn our quite cooler and smarter systems 8sarcasm*). Too often our best work is the work that looks obvious, and it is underappreciated. We struggle to acheive obviousness. It should be valued. For once the desing is obvious, we are sucesses. When is the last time you opened software and knew jusat what to do; or visted a webiste for the first time and knew what do do? That time was the last time you saw the skilled craft of a IA/Interface designer. And that was the time you breezed along, not noticing what happened. Woo hoo! (can being under appreciated be a form of appreciation?)

Same for one’s client. often it becomes us against them: designer vs. biz dev, usability vs. marketing, client vs. design team… which never helps the project. It’s quite more important to understand the needs of the business, express the needs of the user, and design a system that meets both. Here the IA’s moment of triumph is when the user seemlessly does the thing that they want to do which also makes the company money. Like buying a CD by their favorite artist they didn’t even know was out…

more from another POV. Whose Fault Is It Anyway?