Photography by David Zilber

A World of One

Usability studies take a more intimate approach to market research by statistically analyzing such behavioral data as eye movements on a screen or footfalls through a store. But the fact that such data are human-generated should not trick the researcher into thinking that he or she has sufficiently represented the user’s perspective according to the principles of human-centered design. Ultimately, the coherence of a single individual’s perspective contains more nuance than can be captured by a statistical approach, which isolates behaviors from the context of their agents.

Originally published in PARACHUTES: Instructions for Landing in the 21st Century