The devil in the detail of product design

“The other thing that drives me mad is the approach to recording, specifically the fact that when you just press the record button, it records to the end of the current programme. Am I alone in thinking this is nuts?! Who wants to record a part programme?” – Ascari

I’m working with a software company right now on a new professional product.  We’ve been out talking to potential users, we’ve characterised those users in terms of what they do and what they use.  Now we’ve written up a descriptive list of tasks that those customers are going to want to achieve with the product.  We can test these tasks in the market with the users and we can test our designs, prototypes and the final product against them to ensure that they are achievable with ease and pleasure.  It is that simple: understand what your users will want to achieve and then test against that.

The little details of exactly how a product works can be the source of enormous frustration for users if they are poorly designed.  If they are well designed they can make using the product a real pleasure as they zip through their tasks concentrating on outcomes rather than tripping over the rough edges of the UI.

Many years ago when we were planning new releases of a software product we used to have a simple rule: “3 big things and 20 little things”.  Each release needed 3 big new features that would help us grow our market and would attract PR attention.  But that was not enough.  We would also include 20 small changes that would benefit our users, sometimes really small things like moving a button, or making one thing happen automatically after another.  It was these little changes that gave us a loyal following amongst our users, because with each one we demonstrated our understanding of what they needed to do, and we made their lives just a little bit easier.

So, come on Humax, demonstrate to us, your paying customers, that you use your own products and are passionate about delivering a high quality user experience.