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Users Are Not an Afterthought

Ever wondered why Apple has such a loyal following, and why its iPod outsells more powerful and cheaper competition? The secret is simple: exceptional user experience. But you can use it, too, against your engineering dominated competition.

- Software must be written for users

- Design is not mainly about graphics. Although a pleasurable environment helps, for computers the orchestration of the interactions is key.

- Most users are not good programmers, they use a different way of organizing information:

  • Spatial organization
  • Visible connections
  • Learnable idioms
  • Need help to deal with complexity

- Care must be taken to insulate the design from schedule pressures: If corners must be cut, then programmers are not the best to make the decision

- The file system as an example of what is wrong with programmers

- Do not forget about your business processes: They might need to change too, to take advantage of the power of new software (For example, the way that Ryanair has replaced tickets with your passport)

- Strength of firmum: Understanding this interface, being able to do interaction design, and to work together with other designers on larger projects

- References to NNGroup, and Cooper Design