On considerate design

Christopher Skillicorn
Wulkano & Friends
Published in
2 min readNov 11, 2015


The average person has close to 100 apps, and we routinely use close to 30 of them a month. There’s fierce competition for your desktop and home screen, for your attention. Often that can come at the cost of thoughtfulness, really empathising with the person using your design.

Don’t waste my time

Considering the amount of time we spend across the web and apps, even the slightest improvements to its design and user experience can make a huge difference. Seconds saved quickly accumulate to minutes and hours.

Simple additions like tying an alarm to the phones airplane or do not disturb mode, or muting app notifications, removes a repetitive action from the flow and eliminates the annoyance of forgetting to turn it off. Compete on convenience.

Don’t make me think

Good design is obvious, it helps you focus on the things that matter. It should be centred around you, and help you make good choices.

Far too often unnecessary complications stop you in your tracks. Like a date picker when all you really want to say is “tomorrow” or “before my next appointment”. Compete on usability.

Usability means making sure something works well, and that a person of average ability or experience can use it for its intended purpose without getting hopelessly frustrated. — Steve Krug

An interesting example of this turns the tables in a delightfully human centric way, albeit a small compromise:

Don’t disrupt me

Technology doesn’t care if it’s Sunday evening or Monday morning, but you might. Compete on experience.

Empathetic design shapes a product or service around the person using it, rather than the other way around.

Empathic design is a user-centered design approach that pays attention to the user’s feelings toward a product.

Considerate design is the result of truly understanding the people using your product or service and their goals, shaping their experience with empathy.