Inspiration can often come from the most unexpected places, and a recent "CrappyDesign" subreddit post perfectly frames one of my favourite UX mantras. In fact, the "Desire Path" concept dumbs down a few usability fundamentals in a super-simple way. Take a look at these two images:
The world - online and offline - is full of Berea College examples. What can we learn from UC Berkeley's approach?
Don't try to change customer behaviour
Pay attention, watch and listen to your customers. Let them define the way they want to interact with your product or service - never the other way around. This kind of insight is gold, and should be the primary driver on how we design, market and support what we're selling.
Nobody can predict behaviours flawlessly - least of all, customers
Traditional research techniques like surveys, interviews and focus groups all too often give us unreliable assumptions and hypotheses for two reasons:
Research, test, build - and then do it again
Whether we're talking software or sidewalks, conditions are constantly changing. Believing that what was successful last year will yield the same results this time around isn't just lazy - it's reckless. Our customers' behaviours will always be a moving target. And it's only by listening - keeping a reading on their actions and sentiments - that we can ensure that we're always delivering smart, relevant and optimized experience for them.
Steve Coppola is a user experience & digital marketing professional - and founder of Input UX. With over 25 years of agency experience, he has worked with many of the world's most respected brands in various capacities including UI/UX design, customer research, usability testing, and front end development.
Find out more about Input UX
If you’re developing a new product, app, or software, then you’re probably familiar with prototyping - building out and creating a visual and interactive representation of what you’re going to build. While design teams, developers, and marketers will love the nitty-gritty of a product’s design, before you even get that far, there's another step you need to take - visiontyping.
The largest, most talented and well-funded product teams don’t amount to much unless the work they do is informed and directed by input from users of the product themselves.