I Fight For The Users
Hate if you want to, but TRON is one of my favorite movies - both the 1982 version from my childhood and TRON: Legacy, the sequel released in 2010. There’s a lot to love about these flicks - the visuals, Daft Punk, and Sci-Fi glory; this memorable line, however, stands out in my mind above all else, “I fight for the users.”
Lately I’ve been wondering, “Do we really fight for the user?” In a typical web design and development project, are we consumed with usability or are we consumed with staying under budget? Do we care about the user’s needs or are we concerned with meeting keyword density and enlarging the logo? Are we making the best user experience possible or are we appeasing the board of directors?
So, how do you fight for the user?
- Ask user-centered questions.
- Develop accurate user personas based on qualitative and quantitative research.
- Conduct usability testing and refine accordingly to correct bad user experiences.
You may think I’m crazy. You may say “it will cost to much.” You may say that you don’t have the time for that. I would say, we can’t afford not fight for the user. These elements don’t need to be elaborate, expensive, and time consuming. Start small, keep it simple, and by all means…keep it about the user.
On usability testing
Don’t wait until a site is functional. Have a user analyze the information architecture, the wireframes, and then the polished designs. Making these efforts early will save you later. Once the site is functional, you can always conduct proper usability testing with software like Silverback by Clearleft.
Say it with me:
I will fight for the users.
I won’t let obstacles stand in the way.
End of line.