Week 3 Reflection

Paul Sherman’s presentation about design challenge and how to teach user about your user interface made me thinking about the reading from Don Norman. He writes about how engineers are more logical and how they believe if users would just read the instructions then they wouldn’t be any problems but that’s not how most users think. I don’t know statistically how many people don’t actually read the instruction before using or putting something together. However, I think it’s important to take that into consideration as the goal is to teach the user about the product and not frustrating them. Sherman talks about how designers overestimate the users willingness to work through a tutorial and users ability to obtain information in a tutorial. As a person who tends to overthink and analyze information, I don’t think that’s technically bad. Overthinking and over analyzing might be a waste sometimes but have choices and options are good to know and have in any situation.

In chapter five of The Design of Everyday Things, there’s a section on understanding why there is error. Norman writes “when an error happens, we should determine why, then resign the product or the procedures being followed so that it will never occur again or, if it does, so that it will have minimal impact.” This sentence stood out to be because when I explain my interest and goals to someone I use the term redesign and often don’t think about what and why I am redesigning things. Perhaps the product is excellent in itself but it’s the different users and their experiences that doesn’t always make the product work for them. In other words, every user is different and even though the product might work for one person it might not work for another. So will redesigning a product really help if it’s not the majority of the user that is having the problem? That’s a question I find myself asking.