Call it great UX, or the Golden Rule, or customer-experience-design. But whatever you call it, the practice of great UX/XD comes down to this: having consideration for your user. And while this may sound like a no-brainer, having consideration for your user on a daily basis is just plain… hard.
It is management’s job to get things developed quickly. So to a developer, there is almost never time to consider the user as they work. And yet, every decision made in development has the potential to CHANGE the experience people have with your product.
Because it’s so difficult to keep your user top-of-mind during development, the best Experience Designers use tools to remind them – project management software seems to be the most common. Here at First User, we use a kitchen timer that goes beep-BEep-BEEP every 90 minutes, just to remind ourselves to stop for a moment, think of the decisions we’ve made most recently, and consider them in the eyes of our user.
These little reminders have great power in the development process, whether you are coding an app or building a robot. There are always rushed deadlines, half-done designs, and incomplete spec sheets to work from. So every 90 minutes we remind ourselves that every decision made over the previous hour and a half WILL have an effect on the user. We even go so far as to turn our chairs away from our desks/benches and spend 5 minutes telling one another of any changes we’ve made to the product in the last 90 minutes. As a team, we consider the user before getting back to work.
The revelations we make by stopping to consider the user every 90 minutes are amazing – our products don’t get lost in feature-creep, we don’t go down rabbit holes the user can’t navigate, and our teams never lose sight of who they are working for; their users.