Today in the elevator of my building, I hit the floor for 17 and the button didn’t light up. I had a mild panic attack, as I was running late and had to peek through the sea of other worker bees to the other side of the elevator to see if it indeed was pressed. Numerous times, I’ve gone into bathrooms and have had to “go back to school” and relearn how to dry my hands because every manufacturer of paper towel dispensers is different. Some icons should a hand waving, does that mean wave your hand in front of the icon, or underneath the dispenser, like in the graphical representation of the object, on the object.
I’ve thought about my job as a UX Designer and there honestly are times when I care so much for the end user that I want to design something as simple as possible to not burden someone with a complex task, even if the task I’m designing is inherently complex. All the usability testing in the world, once you put something into production it could not behave the way intended… requirements could have been off, misinterpreted, etc.
Which is why I at times think that all people designing experiences for people, from the developers, to the PMs, to the UX designers, to the Web Graphics people, to the Chairman of the Board, should sign almost hippocratic oaths and hold their end users in such regard as to not tax them psychologically. So many times I’ve thought that people just don’t understand that something should be designed well, so that people WANT to use it? Just because you have to manually input data in a interface all day, for 10 hours a day and during a certain period of time longer than 10 hours a day doesn’t mean I don’t have a responsibility to hold you (end user) higher than anyone else who may be signing my paycheck.
And I’m starting to realize, based on recent blog posts from others in the field, that others without the background have no clue of the psychological damage that they put on people at times when they don’t put the end user in focus and design around them. You want to design a new website that will impact 100,000 people on a regular basis? You better make sure that you do some level of usability testing, persona work, contextual analysis, and