Nobody Wants To Use The Article About Nobody Using Your Product

For months now I’ve been thinking about Goran Peuc’s article in Smashing Magazine but have been unable to turn my thoughts into words. At first, I thought I was too excited about it to truly understand it. My initial response was a guttural YASSSSSS!, spreading it around on Slack to every pubic channel or DM that I’d convinced myself might be remotely interested. Then recently, it came to me why I had such a hard time trying to recapitulate what I thought was so important about Goran Peuc’s ideas: Nothing Changed.

While my coworkers had the same reaction I had after reading the article (“Wow, this makes so much sense!”) after a couple weeks I’d hear the same things in meetings: This feature would be super cool or that animation could use another week worth of work. Wait, what happened to not focusing on features? Didn’t we all just agree it was about what users want to do with our product and not what we want users to do?

It takes teams not only to build things but to believe things. Articles get passed around everyday at such a rate that the ideas in them become easy to toss aside, to use as “food for thought”. Now, this might be the point where you’re saying to yourself: Well, maybe he didn’t work hare enough to convince other people ? Remember the part where I said everyone had the same enthusiastic response I had … there was no convincing that needed to be done.

Maybe old habits really are hard to break. Maybe I’m not senior enough for anyone to think my ideas could inform how we, as a company, work. All are plausible reasons but, in my opinion, too easy to ascribe. The problem resides with the idea of change, itself. Can you name one technique or idea that hasn’t changed, even minutely, since you started working ? As a UX Designer, not one thing I do or deliver looks the same as it did a year ago. Then why would our processes or how we view digital products remain the same ?

Only when teams building products embrace change can they stop building products. Your users don’t care about that fancy loading animation if nothing ever, you know … loads. A fellow designer likes to remind me all the time that we’re not saving lives, which is true. People see the things we work on (if they’re really well done) as a means to some larger end. But when will we ?

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