Goals vs Features in Product Design

So well & simply explained: This quote from Alan Coopers book „The inmates are running the asylum“ on why goals are more descriptive than describing features should be printed postersize!

„It might be counter-intuitive in our feature-conscious world, but you simply cannot achieve your goals by using features lists as a problem solving tool. It’s quite possible to satisfy every feature on the list and still hatch a catastrophe. Interaction designer Scott McGregor uses a delightful test in his classes to prove this point. He describes a product with a list of features, asking his class to write down what the product is as soon as they can guess. He begins with 1) internal combustion engine; 2) four wheels with rubber tires; 3) a transmission connecting the engine to the drive wheels; 4) engine and transmission mounted on a metal chassis; 5) a steering wheel. By this time every student will have written down his or her positive identification of the product as an automobile, whereupon Scott ceases using features to desrcibe the product and instead mentions a couple of user goals: 6) cuts grass quickly and easily; 7) comfortable to sit on. From the five feature clues not one student will have written down ‘riding lawnmower’. You can see how much more descriptive goals are then features”

Cooper, A.(1999) The Inmates are Running the Asylum. Why High-Tech Products Drive us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity

UX check chrome plugin

Ah the internet awesomeness. Someone made a chrome plugin for heuristic evaluations. Personally I find this chrome plugin super useful, because it saves me lots of time making screenshots, pasting them in a doc, formatting.. Check it out. It’s perfect for both: a quick more „lofi-ish“ design evaluation to communicate some visual design issues and and a more advanced heuristic evaluation – it even supports you with that because it comes directly with Nielsens 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design. Plus: You can also define your own (client specific) heuristics.

„UX Check makes heuristic evaluations quick and easy. The extension will open up Nielsen’s Ten Heuristics in a side pane next to your website. When you click on an element that doesn’t comply with a heuristic, you can add notes, and a screenshot will be saved. At the end, you can export everything to a docx so that you can share them with your team“


Don’t bury your website navigation on desktop behind a hamburger icon

On Desktop, people used twice as much visible navigation than hidden navigation which was buried behind a hamburger icon

„When a menu is visible across the top it’s basically advertising that the navigation is there and people are also able to see the links right away and what is offered at the website – versus when it’s collapsed. So, it’s a shame if you don’t actually show those links on desktop“

A Persona Spectrum from Microsoft Inclusive Design

Sometimes exclusion is temporary or situational. Also, dont forget: Inclusive Design also means in many cases: easy to use even with little tech knowledge – for people who aren’t „power users“. Otherwise you are designing for a tech savy bubble only which may not equal reality and exclude all people who aren’t tech-savy.

USEFUL: “Persona Spectrum” from @microsoft Inclusive Design. There’s more to accessible design than most ppl realize https://t.co/tqHKk0pFzy pic.twitter.com/lWzBBuI2Hs

— Betsy Weber (@betsyweber) February 14, 2017

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