Do you know this kind of people? When something “doesn’t feel right” to them?
A conversation with them would go something like this:
– This page (or feature, or website, or design, or layout) is stupid! It doesn’t make sense to me at all. When I go to this website, I never use it. It should be banished.
– Do you think that maybe it’s useful to some people?
– No. I’ve never used it once. It doesn’t make sense.
When discussing what something should look like or how it should work, almost without fail people discuss it from the point of view of one. Themselves.
They don’t care that the product must be used by thousands or even millions. They don’t even consider other use cases than their own.
If there’s a feature that they don’t use, it’s a stupid feature. If there’s a feature lacking that they used somewhere else, the designers are morons and they don’t know what they’re doing.
It’s ok to have an opinion. It’s also great that you are sharing it. Truth is born in argument.
But it’s not ok to assume that you are the population. You are not.
So please share your opinion, enthusiastically if you wish, but also keep in mind that:
- The app/website will be used by countless other people
- They all have their own needs and preferences
- The goal of the app/website is to satisfy as many of those needs, as effectively as possible
- Sometimes, the goal is even not to satisfy some of the preferences, when an app is a specialized tool, not a Swiss-army knife
- You are important and your voice matters, but (sorry to burst your bubble) you also are only a point on a bell curve. If you happen to be outside the “Most People” distribution, chances are this particular app/website is deliberately excluding you for the business purposes, as they should.
What to do instead?
- User testing
- Usage analysis
- Deep understanding of different use cases
- Pareto principle for satisfying most of the use cases.
PS. Yes, sometimes some things really are stupid and pointless. But it happens much less often than people say they are.