Dear Developers, stop treating them as idiots 🤦♂️
When working with teams, every now and then, I hear a variation of the following about the end user:
“What an idiot. He cannot understand the simple things about our app.”
“Another hate comment. I had enough.”
“Why did they click there? This is stupid.”
If you think this way, you are labelling, and each label carries a burden. It’s a cage where your brain will only search for confirmation of the initial bias meaning that users are stupid.
That stops you from reflecting on what truth lies between the lines in the apps UX, architectural or logical mistakes you might have made when writing or designing.
The application may not be as intuitive as you thought. Maybe the user hasn’t been properly onboarded for the new feature. Maybe there are too many features and you should remove some of them? Who is the user persona, and how does your work align with their profile, problems and expectations?
These are basic questions that are not only something to be taken care of by the Product Manager. They should be constantly discussed in the team. Something that everyone has in the back of their mind when working.
In the end, if things are not clear, it’s best to ask the user directly if you have a chance.
“I think design is not just how something looks, it’s how it fundamentally works. It’s about simplifying something. And people think simplifying is removing things and it’s not. Simplifying is understanding something so deeply that you can get to the essence of something.” - Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO
Did you had a chance of using an app that, with each new update, you felt it answered all your needs without you even being aware of them? This is what deep understanding of the user brings.
So next time you want to brag, try understanding where the user is coming from. I’m not saying to embrace hate speech. I’m saying to look through it and find this golden nugget that’s hidden there. If there is none - ignore it.
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