Users are bad at asking for what they need and great at asking for what they want.
Anecdotal evidence from my own recent experience:
We have a department that asked for a button that would generate a PDF report about some data. A few months later they asked for the report in the form of a spreadsheet. A few months after that they asked for additional ...
Yes, there is a term for this ("the user can't do anything wrong"):
But as other answers point out, making something completely foolproof isn't feasible. On wikipedia I found a quote from Douglas Adams' Mostly Harmless:
a common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ...
Here are two examples, one online and one offline
1. Train arrivals
Subway passengers frustrated with waiting for trains routinely ask for more trains on the track. For metropolitan transit agencies globally, this is obviously a very expensive request.
Analysis of passenger needs reveals that the uncertainty around the wait is as important as the ...
Accommodation for every possible user interaction is impossible.
Let's use your example, but switch the USB to a whole computer. A user can pull the power cord and expect the computer to safely turn off with every data saved in the drive magically. Just like a USB. How should a UX designer prepare for this?
Lock the cord in place so that the user can't ...
In design, you always have to ask: Who is the user and what is his or her intent?
With technical "user manual" pages, the user is probably an engineer or sysadmin trying to find information as quickly as possible in order to get something installed or fixed. They are likely:
Searching for keywords
Reading just a section at a time
Not using their main ...
What was the right course of action here? Is there a point at which the user's fear of change becomes an important UX consideration in its own right?
This is an interesting question - I believe the answer is yes. The core tenet of user centered design is considering the characteristics and needs of your users in your design. If the fear of change so ...
If you've seen The Simpsons episode "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou," you should remember what happened when Homer's half-brother gave him free reign over designing a car "for the average schmuck." The end result was expensive and looked ridiculous and didn't truly meet the user's needs, even though it had all the features he wanted.
If the company truly ...
Normally the users have a point. It may not be the point they think, but that does not mean there is not a valid issue at the heart of it.
The choice of (a) "old way" or (b) "our correct new way" is rather stark. I have re-factored a lot of UI's and occasionally missed a much loved short-cut. I always found a way of blending the better design for learners ...
What you’re describing is a consequence of User-Centered Design (coined by Don Norman himself). I’ve heard your principle expressed as “the user is always right” and “it’s not the user’s fault”.
As has been pointed out, this type of thinking is not common enough, even among UX professionals. The issue is that we’re trying to “fix” user ...
Save is a byproduct
Save is a byproduct of early hardware- and software design. It doesn't have a common equivalent in the real world.
Consider: If you take a pencil and make a mark on paper, that mark doesn't require an extra step in order to become permanent.
In other words, it does not need to be saved. The paper may need to be stored somewhere so it ...
I wonder if the concept you are looking for is Poka-yoke (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poka-yoke). This is often more associated with mechanical design (e.g. zoo cage double doors which can't both be open at the same time) but you can make an analogy with UX design (e.g. don't offer a delete button when there is nothing available to delete).
Let's start with an old one from the Ford's founder:
(Although there isn't actually any evidence Ford ever said it. Thanks to user Evil Closet Monkey for the disclaimer.)
The UX Designer View
Why is it important to know why they want what they think they want?:
Simply because as a UX designer you should be the one designing the best solution and in ...
Something to keep in mind is that all of the documentation pages you have linked to are for tools which are designed to be used from text-only interfaces. It makes sense, then, that the documentation would be in (mostly) text format as well.
The manpages site in particular has been designed to look exactly like a man page from a Unix terminal, probably as ...
What you are reffering to is called Net Promoter Score (NPS).
The Net Promoter Score is calculated based on responses to a single
question: How likely is it that you would recommend our
company/product/service to a friend or colleague? The scoring for this
answer is most often based on a 0 to 10 scale.
Those who respond with a score of 9 to 10 ...
Phonewords are mnemonic phrases represented as alphanumeric equivalents of a telephone number.2 In many countries, the digits on the telephone keypad also have letters assigned. By replacing the digits of a telephone number with the corresponding letters, it is sometimes possible to form a whole or partial word, an acronym, abbreviation, or some ...
Create a repository with actions from where they can be dragged to days.
The question is what happens when you try to drag an item to a day that is already occupied.
Replace the item and send the previous one to the repository
Swap both items. In this case, if you start with a preset for every day you don't even need the repository.
There are two issues that make focusing on user requests at face value problematic.
The first is known as
The Einstellung Effect
This is a negative effect of pattern-following on finding optimal solutions:
Einstellung is the development of a mechanized state of mind. Often
called a problem solving set, Einstellung refers to a person's
I think you are putting too much expectation in the video without any prior warning of what will happen.
I have the image of the Olympic's dive: before the jump there's an animation on the screen of how the action will be performed with some technical info, so the viewers already know what they will see.
The same thing you can use in your application, find ...
Note: This answer is a frame challenge.
The checkbox should not be there at all.
According to your screenshot, your users use your search engine to find a solution to their billing problem.
You write that your users "weren't compelled enough to select [the checkbox]". And why should they be?
They have a billing problem, and so, their number one ...
tl;dr Yes, because of a design school of thought called "Content is King."
… old, dull and seemingly poor design.
All of these are subjective. "Old" to many people equate to "familiar," which means they won't have to learn to learn to navigate yet another design. "Dull" is fine, it's technical documentation after all. Sprucing it up with design isn't ...
As a user, I will automatically think that a disabled text input field (or anything looks like this) means that the field is ultimately editable. Either the data that I supply on other fields makes it invalid for editing, or I have insufficient permissions to change the field's value.
Bootstrap CSS does have the form-control-static class that you can use to ...
No. It is not a widely held view among UX designers. Unfortunately.
Even less so amongst those using SO and considering themselves to be UX Designers.
I suspect this is mainly because UX design is not a rigorous field, nor do its proponents practice patience and understanding of their potential users. Perhaps even worse, they're seemingly of the belief ...
In terms of satisfaction, return on "expected features" is very low
Consider this from the PM's point of view - you want to tie up a large amount of engineering time to create a feature that does not make money. All it does is increase usability by some amount - important in principle, but the business outcomes are questionable according to the ...
Why not have both and cater for those less comfortable with electronic devices, whilst catering for those that do?
Increases the number of sign-ups you can accept at any one time.
My advice if you decide to go down that route is to ensure the experience is the same.
To my mind, the way we redeveloped it is unambiguously better.
That's great, but "Better" does not always equal "Best". You may have thought you had "Best" before you received user feedback. However, the feedback you received should have thrown up red flags in your mind.
What was the right course of action here?
First, be willing to re-evaluate your ...
This is the however
If the majority of users have rejected a design, it seems ludicrous for any UX professional to insist on that design because 'they know better what's good for the users'. Quite appropriately, the majority of the replies to your question follow that thinking.
I would, however, like to offer an alternative take on this, which goes well deep ...
User Protection vs. User Irresponsibility
The original question and several answers given show a gap between the understand of "protecting the user" and "avoiding user irresponsibility," so let's get that out of the way.
Protecting the user is of paramount importance within the UX process.
Avoiding user irresponsibility is impossible. Simple. ...
We were bulding a new version of a computerized machine. One requirement was to boot it in 30 seconds. We failed it by orders of magnitude. It created a big outcry. We asked why and heard that they had lost a lot of production time with the last version, because it crashed so often and needed to be rebooted quite frequently.
Our new version was ...
From the various Agile-related concepts, I'd like to highlight two:
It meant to combat requirements volatility (frequently evolving or changing requirements or their priority).
It increases time to market.
Agile, when used in the right context (and followed by the word), is nothing short of magic. The cost of changes within a properly managed ...
This is a common UX design principle. The best error message, is to avoid an error message in the first place. There are many examples of design principles out there, but no standard set.
Jacob Neilson used the term “Error Prevention” in his 10 usability heuristics.
"Even better than good error ...