UIEtips: Creating Great Design Principles – 6 Counter-intuitive Tests

Jared Spool

March 1st, 2011

The excitement in the room was electric. Everyone was waiting for the big moment. Finally, it was here.

For six months, the team had been working on their new design principles. In closed meetings, they were hashing out what they were going to do and how it would be different. Now, the project manager was walking to the front and revealing the fruits of their labors.

Easy to use. Enjoyable. Innovative.

People were shuffling in their seats. Really? Six months for this? “But, we’ve got executive buy-in. That took a lot of work,” the project manager defended. Right, because who could argue against ‘innovative’?

We’ve seen this scenario play out way too often. Teams create principles that prove too generic to be useful in any design decisions. They get put on a plaque next to the corporate mission, never to be referred to again.

Yet our research, while studying teams that create great user experiences, found teams were using design principles that weren’t generic. These principles were specific to the project, based on research, and constantly being tested by the team. These principles pushed their design to new levels and the results showed in delighted customers.

In today’s UIEtips, I reveal six tests that separate out generic design principles from those that really work for a team. If you have principles, you can test them and see how they do. If you don’t, you can use these tests to create some that will drive your design decisions.

Read the article: Creating Great Design Principles – 6 Counter-intuitive Tests.

I’ll be talking about our research into design principles at the UIE Web App Masters Tour. I’ll show how to create these principles and the different ways teams get the most out of them. It’s the first time we’re talking about this ground-breaking research. You don’t want to miss it. Learn about the tour at UIETour.com.

One Response to “UIEtips: Creating Great Design Principles – 6 Counter-intuitive Tests”

  1. Leanne Gallison Says:

    I am disappointed to see UIE go pretty much exclusively web UI. I work in medical devices that all have a UI but only one (our medical informatics product) is web based. We have a lot of UI issues on our device screens where web principles do not apply (except for easy, innovative and enjoyable, maybe). I noticed this shift at the March conference. I thought Jared was one of the best speakers I’d ever heard. I feel like UIE no longer applies to what I do and will be focusing more on human factors organizations and dropping my subscription to UIE. I was wondering if anyone else had similar experience and knew of other resources. thanks.

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