Sunday, November 13, 2011

Balance in User Experience

With the rise of new buzzwords  every day, it is becoming increasingly difficult for engineers to adapt and build for change. I have seen new techniques and ideas thrusted on to the customer, only for the need to stand out. A marketing driven development isn't the right solution. It always  happens when an idea spreads like a wildfire - People start noticing it, especially those who build technology solutions for others. They start thinking of how this idea could be rolled into their product and the new avenues it would create. 

Let me explain this with an example : A while back I was talking to some of my acquitances about creating great presentations, not just powerpoints. A point widely discussed was raised in that conversation - the sense of minimalism. The minimalism wave has swept the world, and I too believe its for good. But here comes the challenge - we adopt these techniques without understanding their pros and cons. After the conversation, I found a couple of my acquitances started religiously following minimal designs in all of their presentations, with occasions where audience felt the sense of emptiness  and were annoyed . And sooner than later, these guys came back with the result - people do not always love minimal presentation. The question that came out was - Does minimal design in presentations work all the time ?

There are lots of factors that go in defining what level of minimalism should go in a presentation. Finding this "balance" is critical to the success of the method. Like this, there are multiple techniques available in the field of User Experience.Applying a technique as it is won't make a solution a rockstar.  It requires due diligence from the practitioner to apply, measure and iterate through these techniques. The result of this would be a pure balance between what the user expects and the designer intends. 

More thought on this in my talk at Register today at

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