"...all of those things are great, rational reasons to pursue what we pursued. But none of them matter if the product is harder to use"
"Focus on what really matters: making users happy with your product as quickly as you can, and helping them as much as you can after that. If you do those better than anyone else out there you'll win."
"Changing people's behavior is really hard."
"...focused on making the user do almost no work at all, by automatically editing and categorizing their data, reducing the number of fields in their signup form, and giving them immediate gratification as soon as they possibly could. We completely sucked at all of that."
"...design was exceptional, but if other, stronger forms of lock-in are in place first, design alone can't win a market, nor can it keep a market."
As someone trying to solve a problem or create a new experience, I have found myself making some of the same mistakes that this article talks about.
Is there a dichotomy in the thinking of the designer / developer and the point of view of a user that secretly creeps into our creations? Don't we all sometimes find it hard to maintain perspective on what matters to the user, and more commonly, maintain the sanctity and integrity of that context througout our design process?
A common example of this can be found in a large number of enterprise software applications, where ease of learning / access and ease of use often take a backseat to the rather engineering driven linear approach. It is almost as if some of these solutions were created for robots and not for humans.
While the emergence of design consciousness and its economic benefits do seem to be making inroads everywhere else from Mobile phones to the government, enterprise software as a category seems to be a laggard, with some notable exceptions such as the SAP design guild.
We certainly do live in interesting times. Here is the link to the article...