User Experience Manifesto 1.7

I want to thank everyone for the feedback we got on our first draft of the UX Manifesto. Here is my updated thoughts:

Human-Centered over System-Centered

Human-Centered, as the name implies, is designing solutions around human. It is the process that innovators like Apple and IDEO follow.

System-centered is the opposite. It is designing your system around what your system does and relying on training and support to help your customers figure it out.

There are six guiding principles of Human-Centered Design:

  1. The design is based upon an explicit understanding of your customers’ tasks and environments.
  2. Your target audience or accurate representatives of this audience is involved throughout the determinations, development and delivery of your solution.
  3. The design is driven and refined by evaluation with the target audience. Prototype your solution and review the experience with your audience.
  4. The process is iterative. Continuous evaluations, tuning and improving
  5. The design addresses the whole experience (not just a part)
  6. The design team includes multidisciplinary skills and perspectives.

Observing interactions over surveys or focus groups

Contextual Inquiry is the industry term we use. It means observing your customer in context of using your solution and asking questions along the way.

Humans, in general, are really bad at describing what they do or why they do it. They often miss steps that they do or really understand why they do what they do.

Talking to your customers over Guessing what they want

To many organizations and individuals think they know what their customers want and don’t ask them. No matter how smart these people are, it is still guessing until you ask your customer what they think.

Active Listening over Telling

As my colleague, Jeofrey Bean, reminds us… To many organizations tell their customers what they do instead of what they do for them. Just look at the language on their website and messaging. They are telling – not listening – to their customers.

Active listen requires:

  1. Pay Attention. Give the speaker your undivided attention, and acknowledge the message.
  2. Show That You’re Listening. Use your body language and gestures to convey your attention – make eye contact and nod your head when appropriate.
  3. Provide Feedback. Interject with acknowledgement when and where appropriate
  4. Defer Judgment. Active listening is open-minded – a time to expand your perspective, learn, explore and innovate
  5. Respond Appropriately. Give a thoughtful pause before you respond, be empathetic and use diplomacy.

Please provide more feedback!