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Insiktsfulla citat om UX och design

Insiktsfulla citat om UX, design och närliggande områden som har inspirerat och gett mig perspektiv. Nya citat tillkommer allteftersom.

Designing is not a profession but an attitude.”

László Moholy-Nagy

I want to help people recognize that we are swimming in systemic water. We need to acknowledge that water and look outside of it intentionally. We need to study humans as humans, not as a ”market” to be exploited.

Indi Young

The idea of having an average user experience is harming people. It needs to go. We need to stop doing it that way and start creating different experiences for different thinking styles.

Indi Young

In my opinion, much of the harm in solutions right now is caused by ”market thinking”: defining people by what ”market” they occupy. ”Market” is all about a product, it’s not about people at all… the people themselves are nowhere in the picture.

Indi Young

The design is done when the problem goes away.

Jason Fried

The best kind of design isn’t necessarily an object, a space, or a structure: it’s a process—dynamic and adaptable,

Don Norman

Simple is hard. Easy is harder. Invisible is hardest.

Jean-Louis Gassée

In a world where everybody screams, silence is noticeable. White space provides the silence.

Massimo Vignelli

It is not enough that we build products that function, that are understandable and usable, we also need to build products that bring joy and excitement, pleasure and fun, and, yes, beauty to people’s lives.

Don Norman

The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.

Mark Weiser

Design isn’t crafting a beautiful, textured button with breathtaking animation. It’s figuring out if there’s a way to get rid of the button altogether.

Edward Tufte

Even the best designers produce successful products only if their designs solve the right problems. A wonderful interface to the wrong features will fail.

Jakob Nielsen

Even the best designers produce successful products only if their designs solve the right problems. A wonderful interface to the wrong features will fail.

Jakob Nielsen

Every object tells a story if you know how to read it.

Henry Ford

If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.

Albert Einstein

Accidents often produce the best solutions…Only you can recognize the difference between an accident and your original intent.

Jennifer Morla

The next big thing is the one that makes the last big thing usable

Blake Ross

A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Elegance and honesty are two mandatory parameters for any human production.

Philippe Starck

Delete, delete, delete and at the end find the ‘core aspect of the design’

Achille Castiglioni

My heart belongs to the details. I actually always found them to be more important than the big picture. Nothing works without details. They are everything, the baseline of quality.

Dieter Rams

You cannot understand good design if you do not understand people; design is made for people.

Dieter Rams

An honest design communicates solely the functions and values it offers. It does not attempt to manipulate buyers and users with promises it cannot keep.

Dieter Rams

Good design is as little as possible. Less, but better, because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

Dieter Rams

Good design is innovative. Good design must be useful. Good design is aesthetic design. Good design makes a product understandable. Good design is honest. Good design is unobtrusive. Good design is long-lasting. Good design is consistent in every detail. Good design is environmentally friendly. And last but not least, good design is as little design as possible.

Dieter Rams

When it comes to UX maturity, no team is an island. A single team or division within a company cannot reach the highest maturity levels, integrated and user-driven stages, while other teams lag behind. It is the consistency among teams which enables these highest maturity levels. Good information, tools, and other resources shared across teams and groups increase UX maturity. Also, UX-focused leadership and knowledge sharing must happen at the organization-wide level, not just within teams. Thus, true UX maturity should be evaluated for an entire organization rather than for a single team.

Kara Pernice, Sarah Gibbons, Kate Moran, and Kathryn Whitenton, The 6 Levels of UX Maturity

The ultimate user experience is improved much more by 3 studies with 5 users each than by a single monster study with 15 users.

Jakob Nielsen, Why You Only Need to Test with 5 Users

As soon as you collect data from a single test user, your insights shoot up and you have already learned almost a third of all there is to know about the usability of the design. The difference between zero and even a little bit of data is astounding.

Jakob Nielsen, Why You Only Need to Test with 5 Users

Some people think that usability is very costly and complex and that user tests should be reserved for the rare web design project with a huge budget and a lavish time schedule. Not true. Elaborate usability tests are a waste of resources. The best results come from testing no more than 5 users and running as many small tests as you can afford.

Jakob Nielsen, Why You Only Need to Test with 5 Users

With massive change, a number of fundamental principles stay the same. Human beings have always been social beings. Social interaction and the ability to keep in touch with people across the world, across time, will stay with us. […] Our technologies may change, but the fundamental principles of interaction are permanent.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

I dream of a renaissance of talent, where people are empowered to create, to use their skills and talents. Some may wish for the safety and security of working for organizations. Some may wish to start new enterprises. Some may do this as hobbies. Some may band together into small groups and cooperatives, the better to assemble the variety of skills required by modern technology, to help share their knowledge, to teach one another, and to assemble the critical mass that will always be needed, even for small projects. Some may hire themselves out to provide the necessary skills required of large projects, while still keeping their own freedom and authority.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

Design is successful only if the final product is successful – if people buy it, use it, and enjoy it, thus spreading the word. A design that people do not purchase is a failed design, no matter how great the design team might consider it.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

The design of everyday things is in great danger of becoming the design of superfluous, overloaded, unnecessary things.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

In Western cultures, design has reflected the capitalistic importance of the marketplace, with an emphasis on exterior features deemed to be attractive to the purchaser. In the consumer economy, taste is not the criterion in the marketing of expensive foods or drinks, usability is not the primary criterion in the marketing of home and office appliances. We are surrounded with objects of desire, not objects of use.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

In every successful product there lurks the carrier of an insidious disease called ”featuritis,” with its main symptom being ”creeping featurism.”

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

The best solution to the problem of designing for everyone is flexibility: flexibility in the size of the images on computer screens, in the sizes, heights, and angles of tables and chairs. Allow people to adjust their own seats, tables, and working devices. Allow them to adjust lighting, font size, and contrast. Flexibility on our highways might mean ensuring that there are alternative routes with different speed limits. Fixed solutions will invariably fail with some people; flexible solutions at least offer a chance for those with different needs.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

It is difficult to do good design. That is why it is such a rich, engaging profession with results that can be powerful and effective. Designers are asked to figure out how to manage complex things, to manage the interaction of technology and people.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

The day a product development process starts, it is behind schedule and above budget.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

The hardest part of design is getting the requirements right, which means ensuring that the right problem is being solved, as well as that the solution is appropriate.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

Many rational executives (and government officials) never quite understand this aspect of the design process. Why would you want to fail? They seem to think that all that is necessary is to determine the requirements, then build to those requirements. Tests, they believe, are only necessary to ensure that the requirements are met. It is this philosophy that leads to so many unusable systems.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

The only way to really know whether an idea is reasonable is to test it. Build a quick prototype or mock-up of each potential solution.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

I am particularly fond of ”stupid” questions. A stupid question asks about things so fundamental that everyone assumes the answer is obvious. But when the question is taken seriously, it often turns out to be profound: the obvious often is not obvious at all. What we assume to be obvious is simply the way things have always been done, but now that it is questioned, we don’t actually know the reasons. Quite often the solution to problems is discovered through stupid questions, through questioning the obvious.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

What are the requirements for a successful product? First, if nobody buys the product, then all else is irrelevant. The product design has to provide support for all the factors people use in making purchase decisions. Second, once the product has been purchased and is put into use, it must support real needs so that people can use, understand, and take pleasure from it. The design specifications must include both factors: marketing and design, buying and using.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

Good designers never start by trying to solve the problem given to them: they start by trying to understand what the real issues are. As a result, rather than converge upon a solution, they diverge, studying people and what they are trying to accomplish, generating idea after idea after idea.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

Engineers and businesspeople are trained to solve problems. Designers are trained to discover the real problems. A brilliant solution to the wrong problem can be worse than no solution at all: solve the correct problem.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

The real world is not like the university. In the university, professors make up artificial problems. In the real world, the problems do not come in nice, neat packages. They have to be discovered. It is all too easy to see only the surface problems and never dig deeper to address the real issues.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

One of my rules in consulting is simple: never solve the problem I am asked to solve. Why such a counterintuitive rule? Because, invariably, the problem I am asked to solve is not the real, fundamental, root problem. It is usually a symptom.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

People are creative, constructive, exploratory beings. We are particularly good at novelty, at creating new ways of doing things, and at seeing new opportunities. Dull, repetitive, precise requirements fight against these traits. We are alert to changes in the environment, noticing new things, and then thinking about them and their implications. These are virtues, but they get turned into negative features when we are forced to serve machines. Then we are punished for lapses in attention, for deviating from the tightly prescribed routines.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

Why do people err? Because the designs focus upon the requirements of the system and the machines, and not upon the requirements of people. Most machines require precise commands and guidance, forcing people to enter numerical information perfectly. But people aren’t very good at great precision. We frequently make errors when asked to type or write sequences of numbers or letters. This is well known: so why are machines still being designed that require such great precision, where pressing the wrong key can lead to horrendous results?

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

When a bridge collapses, we analyze the incident to find the causes of the collapse and reformulate the design rules to ensure that form of accident will never happen again. When we discover that electronic equipment is malfunctioning because it is responding to unavoidable electrical noise, we redesign the circuits to be more tolerant of the noise. But when an accident is thought to be caused by people, we blame them and then continue to do things just as we have always done.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

Most industrial accidents are caused by human error: estimates range between 75 and 95 percent. How is it that so many people are so incompetent? Answer: They aren’t. It’s a design problem.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

If all else fails, standardize.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

People invariably object and complain whenever a new approach is introduced into an existing array of products and systems. Conventions are violated: new learning is required. The merits of the new system are irrelevant: it is the change that is upsetting.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

The lack of clear communication among the people and organizations constructing parts of a system is perhaps the most common cause of complicated, confusing designs. A usable design starts with careful observations of how the tasks being supported are actually performed, followed by a design process that results in a good fit to the actual ways the tasks get performed.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

Constraints are powerful clues, limiting the set of possible actions. The thoughtful use of constraints in design lets people readily determine the proper course of action, even in a novel situation.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

The partnership of technology and people makes us smarter, stronger, and better able to live in the modern world. We have become reliant on the technology and we can no longer function without it. The dependence is even stronger today than ever before, including mechanical, physical things such as housing, clothing, heating, food preparation and storage, and transportation. Now this range of dependencies is extended to information services as well: communication, news, entertainment, education, and social interaction. When things work, we are informed, comfortable, and effective. When things break, we may no longer be able to function. This dependence upon technology is very old, but every decade, the impact covers more and more activities.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

As we move away from many physical aids, such as printed books and magazines, paper notes, and calendars, much of what we use today as knowledge in the world will become invisible. Yes, it will all be available on display screens, but unless the screens always show this material, we will have added to the burden of memory in the head. We may not have to remember all the details of the information stored away for us, but we will have to remember that it is there, that it needs to be redisplayed at the appropriate time for use or for reminding.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

Eliminate the term human error. Instead, talk about communication and interaction: what we call an error is usually bad communication or interaction. When people collaborate with one another, the word error is never used to characterize another person’s utterance. That’s because each person is trying to understand and respond to the other, and when something is not understood or seems inappropriate, it is questioned, clarified, and the collaboration continues. Why can’t the interaction between a person and a machine be thought of as collaboration?

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

We need to remove the word failure from our vocabulary, replacing it instead with learning experience. To fail is to learn: we learn more from our failures than from our successes. With success, sure, we are pleased, but we often have no idea why we succeeded. With failure, it is often possible to figure out why, to ensure that it will never happen again.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

When people have trouble using technology, especially when they perceive (usually incorrectly) that nobody else is having the same problems, they tend to blame themselves. Worse, the more they have trouble, the more helpless they may feel, believing that they must be technically or mechanically inept. This is just the opposite of the more normal situation where people blame their own difficulties on the environment. This false blame is especially ironic because the culprit here is usually the poor design of the technology, so blaming the environment (the technology) would be completely appropriate.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

People are innately disposed to look for causes of events, to form explanations and stories. That is one reason storytelling is such a persuasive medium. Stories resonate with our experiences and provide examples of new instances.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

Most products do not cause fear, running, or fleeing, but badly designed devices can induce frustration and anger, a feeling of helplessness and despair, and possibly even hate. Well-designed devices can induce pride and enjoyment, a feeling of being in control and pleasure – possibly even love and attachment. Amusement parks are experts at balancing the conflicting responses of the emotional stages, providing rides and fun houses that trigger fear responses from the visceral and behavioral levels, while all the time providing reassurance at the reflective level that the park would never subject anyone to real danger.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

For designers, the visceral response is about immediate perception: the pleasantness of a mellow, harmonious sound or the jarring, irritating scratch of fingernails on a rough surface. Here is where the style matters: appearances, whether sound or sight, touch or smell, drive the visceral response. This has nothing to do with how usable, effective, or understandable the product is. It is all about attraction or repulsion. Great designers use their aesthetic sensibilities to drive these visceral responses.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

Harvard Business School marketing professor Theodore Levitt once pointed out, ”People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!” Levitt’s example of the drill implying that the goal is really a hole is only partially correct, however. When people go to a store to buy a drill, that is not their real goal. But why would anyone want a quarter-inch hole? Clearly that is an intermediate goal. Perhaps they wanted to hang shelves on the wall. Levitt stopped too soon.

Once you realize that they don’t really want the drill, you realize that perhaps they don’t really want the hole, either: they want to install their bookshelves. Why not develop methods that don’t require holes? Or perhaps books that don’t require bookshelves. (Yes, I know: electronic books, e-books.)

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

The challenge is to use the principles of human-centered design to produce positive results, products that enhance lives and add to our pleasure and enjoyment. The goal is to produce a great product, one that is successful, and that customers love. It can be done.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

The same technology that simplifies life by providing more functions in each device also complicates life by making the device harder to learn, harder to use. This is the paradox of technology and the challenge for the designer.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

Conceptual models are valuable in providing understanding, in predicting how things will behave, and in figuring out what to do when things do not go as planned. A good conceptual model allows us to predict the effects of our actions. Without a good model, we operate by rote, blindly; we do operations as we were told to do them; we can’t fully appreciate why, what effects to expect, or what to do if things go wrong. As long as things work properly, we can manage. When things go wrong, however, or when we come upon a novel situation, then we need a deeper understanding, a good model.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

Machines that give too much feedback are like backseat drivers. Not only is it distracting to be subjected to continual flashing lights, text announcements, spoken voices, or beeps and boops, but it can be dangerous. Too many announcements cause people to ignore all of them, or wherever possible, disable all of them, which means that critical and important ones are apt to be missed. Feedback is essential, but not when it gets in the way of other things, including a calm and relaxing environment.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

A device is easy to use when the set of possible actions is visible, when the controls and displays exploit natural mappings. The principles are simple but rarely incorporated into design. Good design takes care, planning, thought, and an understanding of how people behave.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

Because affordances and signifiers are fundamentally important principles of good design, they show up frequently in the pages of this book. Whenever you see hand-lettered signs pasted on doors, switches, or products, trying to explain how to work them, what to do and what not to do, you are also looking at poor design.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

People need some way of understanding the product or service they wish to use, some sign of what it is for, what is happening, and what the alternative actions are. People search for clues, for any sign that might help them cope and understand. It is the sign that is important, anything that might signify meaningful information. Designers need to provide these clues. What people need, and what designers must provide, are signifiers. Good design requires, among other things, good communication of the purpose, structure, and operation of the device to the people who use it. That is the role of the signifier.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

The presence of an affordance is jointly determined by the qualities of the object and the abilities of the agent that is interacting. This relational definition of affordance gives considerable difficulty to many people. We are used to thinking that properties are associated with objects. But affordance is not a property. An affordance is a relationship. Whether an affordance exists depends upon the properties of both the object and the agent.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

Experience is critical, for it determines how fondly people remember their interactions. Was the overall experience positive, or was it frustrating and confusing? When our home technology behaves in an uninterpretable fashion we can become confused, frustrated, and even angry – all strong negative emotions. When there is understanding it can lead to a feeling of control, of mastery, and of satisfaction or even pride – all strong positive emotions. Cognition and emotion are tightly intertwined, which means that the designers must design with both in mind.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

Great designers produce pleasurable experiences. Experience: note the word. Engineers tend not to like it; it is too subjective. But when I ask them about their favorite automobile or test equipment, they will smile delightedly as they discuss the fit and finish, the sensation of power during acceleration, their ease of control while shifting or steering, or the wonderful feel of the knobs and switches on the instrument. Those are experiences.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

Human-centered design is a design philosophy. It means starting with a good understanding of people and the needs that the design is intended to meet. This understanding comes about primarily through observation, for people themselves are often unaware of their true needs, even unaware of the difficulties they are encountering. Getting the specification of the thing to be defined is one of the most difficult parts of the design, so much so that the HCD principle is to avoid specifying the problem as long as possible but instead to iterate upon repeated approximations.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

Good design starts with an understanding of psychology and technology. Good design requires good communication, especially from machine to person, indicating what actions are possible, what is happening, and what is about to happen. Communication is especially important when things go wrong. It is relatively easy to design things that work smoothly and harmoniously as long as things go right. But as soon as there is a problem or a misunderstanding, the problems arise. This is where good design is essential. Designers need to focus their attention on the cases where things go wrong, not just on when things work as planned. Actually, this is where the most satisfaction can arise: when something goes wrong but the machine highlights the problems, then the person understands the issue, takes the proper actions, and the problem is solved. When this happens smoothly, the collaboration of person and device feels wonderful.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

New technologies, new applications, and new methods of interaction are continually arising and evolving. New industries spring up. Each new development seems to repeat the mistakes of the earlier ones; each new field requires time before it, too, adopts the principles of good design. And each new inven- tion of technology or interaction technique requires experimentation and study before the principles of good design can be fully integrated into practice. So, yes, things are getting better, but as a result, the challenges are ever present.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

The reasons for the deficiencies in human-machine interaction are numerous. Some come from the limitations of today’s technology. Some come from self-imposed restrictions by the designers, often to hold down cost. But most of the problems come from a complete lack of understanding of the design principles necessary for effective human-machine interaction. Why this deficiency? Because much of the design is done by engineers who are experts in technology but limited in their understanding of people. ”We are people ourselves,” they think, ”so we understand people.” But in fact, we humans are amazingly complex. Those who have not studied human behavior often think it is pretty simple. Engineers, moreover, make the mistake of thinking that logical explanation is sufficient: ”If only people would read the instructions,” they say, ”everything would be all right.”

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

When people fail to follow these bizarre, secret rules, and the machine does the wrong thing, its operators are blamed for not understanding the machine, for not following its rigid specifications. With everyday objects, the result is frustration. With complex devices and commercial and industrial processes, the resulting difficulties can lead to accidents, injuries, and even deaths. It is time to reverse the situation: to cast the blame upon the machines and their design. It is the machine and its design that are at fault. It is the duty of machines and those who design them to understand people. It is not our duty to understand the arbitrary, meaningless dictates of machines.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

If I were placed in the cockpit of a modern jet airliner, my inability to perform well would neither surprise nor bother me. But why should I have trouble with doors and light switches, water faucets and stoves? ”Doors?” I can hear the reader saying. ”You have trouble opening doors?” Yes. I push doors that are meant to be pulled, pull doors that should be pushed, and walk into doors that neither pull nor push, but slide. Moreover, I see others having the same troubles – unnecessary troubles. My problems with doors have become so well known that confusing doors are often called ”Norman doors.” Imagine becoming famous for doors that don’t work right. I’m pretty sure that’s not what my parents planned for me.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

With the passage of time, the psychology of people stays the same, but the tools and objects in the world change. Cultures change. Technologies change. The principles of design still hold, but the way they get applied needs to be modified to account for new activities, new technologies, new methods of communication and interaction.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

Design is concerned with how things work, how they are controlled, and the nature of the interaction between people and technology. When done well, the results are brilliant, pleasurable products. When done badly, the products are unusable, leading to great frustration and irritation. Or they might be usable, but force us to behave the way the product wishes rather than as we wish.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

People are imaginative and creative, filled with common sense; that is, a lot of valuable knowledge built up over years of experience. But instead of capitalizing on these strengths, machines require us to be precise and accurate, things we are not very good at. Machines have no leeway or common sense. Moreover, many of the rules followed by a machine are known only by the machine and its designers.

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

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