Don’t frustrate your users


Making a great product is not an easy task. It involves making the biggest as well the smallest decision continuously while maintaining the whole overview.

This can be really hard sometimes. It’s easy to get lost, to forget some small details on the way to the greatness.

Yet, these small details are the core of your product. They are on the front-line of the user interacting with your precious creation, your product.

With a digital product, it all goes down to clicking that button, to filling out that input, to reading that error alert… It’s all about the tiniest interactions and how (well) they work together.

To create a great product, obsession with the detail must become your best friend.

A great example of abandoned obsession that hit me recently, is a tiny detail within user management of Google Apps.

Every time I create a new account for a new colleague I struggle with the same thing — the profile photo. There is no info available during the process regarding the dimension, the size or the file type limits applied to the profile photo.

Each time it is a trial and error series of events until I get the Google Apps to accept the uploaded photo at the best quality possible. It either gets rejected because of the file type used (.png — really?) or because the file is too big (400 KB is big?) and so on.

The irony?

Even the error message doesn't tell you the proper file size limit or the file types supported. You are simply left to try again until you succeed.

If the web developers at Google got a task to piss off the users of Google Apps whenever possible, I must admit, they succeeded big time.

This is exactly the level of detail you need to pay attention to in order to not frustrate your users.

Otherwise, you might end up with a product, which does what it should, but frustrates users while doing it.