As I become more involved and familiar with a product, it becomes more difficult to see it as a typical user.
This can be a difficult task, one that I’ve found requires an open-mind and objective evaluation. To overcome this challenge, we keep a list in our office that we call Fresh-Eyes. It’s a working list of people who have not seen a particular product. I find it immensely useful to show a product to someone on my Fresh-Eyes list. For example, if Bill and I are working on an iOS app, and the developer makes some changes per our suggestions, we don’t evaluate those changes without putting the app in front of a Fresh-Eyes–someone who hasn’t interacted with the product before or during the engagement.
Recognizing that we need to step back at regular intervals to get a fresh perspective on our work is a key to our success. Our team really values this process and we use our Fresh-Eyes list continuously to support one another and provide feedback on each other’s work.
Every Experience Design professional is unique, but we all share one cornerstone of responsibility: We represent the user. Get Fresh-Eyes going in your office. It’s the best way to remain true to the Experience Design needs of your most important asset: Your user.