Intro to UX: Part 3

Lots happened today around the ranch, folks. Now that I’ve (mostly) kicked the cold, I hit the ground hard with EIGHT — count them — EIGHT meetings today.

That’s like, barely enough time to make sure I answer all the crisis emails over the course of the day. Let alone squirrel away the 30 minutes to read this lovely little study a coworker left on my chair about usability. *swoon*

While it seems like a lot of people really despise meetings because they take up time, I personally really enjoy them because I get to listen to all the cool things coming from various areas of expertise. Truly, I am a collaborator in that sense.

And truly, Leah Buley said last week, folks working with user experience MUST be able to truly listen.

Be the user’s BFF

This involves understanding what the team’s priorities actually are. So this means peeling apart what a measurable success is and figure out what exactly we’re trying to learn. This really requires starting at the very beginning with the folks we’re talking to. So in the simplest terms, walking through a process what’s the thing that’s the most aggravating? Is it placement? Is it functionality? Is it the color yellow? What the heck is it? And cultivating this beginner’s mindset is totally clutch.

I’ve written before how essential it is to cultivate a sense of wonder at all times but never in my life did I think this would directly play into how things are built for people.

Watching Gary Hustwit‘s Objectified again last night while I was tinkering around with some other things also drove this point home; you have to consider the thing you’re manipulating be it a chair or an interface at it’s very core first. So you have to look at it and consider it like it’s the first time you’re seeing anything of its kind.

Think about the first time you were truly captivated by something, or heck, the most recently you were truly captivated by something. You stopped. You looked. You smelled. You appreciated its volume. You (tried to) touch it. You listened. You tried to become its best friend.

It’s impossible to have this exact experience with absolutely everything we come into contact with. However, it is possible to cultivate this wonder to truly listen to what’s going on and gauge what’s needed. It’s not my opinion that matters, but the end person who interacts with the product and finds value in it. We have to be our users’ best friends.

In a way, it’s journalism in reverse.

So take point #3 of UX out of Buley’s book of experience and listen. And also take some yoga, that helps with the cultivation of wonderment.

Now, where did I leave my mat?

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