My very basic, yet fully functional physical prototype
When designing digital products we, as UX Designers, deal with screens, pages, and page flows. We rarely get physical. Maybe sometimes we make paper prototypes for e.g. website navigation. But typically our experience doesn’t reach beyond digital.
Imagine areas where physical objects and digital applications merge. Think about a smart home use case, where things are interacting with associated apps. Software that, on a digital screen, lets you control the settings of a smart device. If you want to create a really good app for a smart home use case, you need to know how the physical object works.
My favorite quote, original in German, is: “Fragensteller sind Weichensteller.”
Askers are switchmen.
Hans Leopold Davi (Swiss bookseller and author)
Yes, asking questions should be one of the core skills of every UXer. Independent from his/her professional focus and concrete skillset. But, too often that becomes a reflex and entices you to ask too early and too often. You quickly start to question everything.
We’ve got data, experiences, heuristics—we’ve got evidence. We know supposedly, how things will work if we pull out the old but well-established concepts over and over again. When there’re new ideas rising, we fire all that knowledge against them and choke them off. That’s how to repress creativity. Hence, we’ll never know how new concepts would’ve worked. Chances wasted, no progress, no innovation.
So don’t be a caveman. Be patient, listen, understand, take a breath, and then put your questions.
Handling the information depth on a website sometimes is a balancing act. How much text, or rather how much detail, will not hurt the users’ cognitive receptivity? On the other hand, how much information do they need in place, to get the whole story and find quick answers?
Design principles express the living values of your design approach. They can exist independent from a design system. But if you want to build a design system, think about your principles first. They’ll guide you toward better design decisions. //Design Principles