It’s time to upgrade usability

It’s time for a change in the profession of interface designers. 

Each profession requires knowledge of the fundamentals, specific tools, a proven methodology and a certain degree of experience. 

If we look at our friends in IT for instance, we see they have a thorough knowledge of the raw material of their work: IT… 

They have specific tools to turn their knowledge into a software of some kind. They work with proven and standard methods so everyone can understand, work and share things based on the same objective standards. 

Their experience and creativity all depend on it. 

If you compare this with interface designers, you very quickly see that the so-called usability consultants or customer experience experts don’t really know how the different zones of the brain, the visual system, or the nerve system work. But they are all an integral part of human behaviour… 

If you don’t know how human behaviour works, then how can you create interfaces that are to be used by users’ brains and eyes? 

Usability Consultant

And what about tools? The majority of usability consultants have no complete and objective predictive tool or a tool to gather information on human behaviour. If they don’t have the necessary tools, then how can they create interfaces that are based on more than just a personal opinion? 

And what about the methodology? To make sure a certain behaviour will occur, you have to define a number of phases that, one after the other, will allow you to predict the final result. Good intentions, an interest in the domain or common sense won’t be enough to obtain the desired result. 

It’s time to train experts who understand the fundamentals of human behaviour, who use scientific methods, who are equipped with cutting-edge tools and who generate concrete business results. 

Human Behavior Expert

I am optimistic that if you read this post, you are bound to be passionate about making the digital services of tomorrow more usable, and easier to use by the greatest number of users. 

Have a nice day and don’t hesitate to contact me!

Simplifyinginterfaces-Keypoints:It's time to upgrade Usability

4 Comments

  • Hi.
    I totally agree with your statement. The origin of problem is much more complex:

    – Which educational background should a usability expert hold?
    – Is the fundamentals of Gestalt necessary for all types of usability activities?

  • Hi,

    I also agree we should have as much scientific knowledge as possible, I try to read as much as possible, that’s why I’m here 😉

    But, pay attention that this can be a trap too: having part of the knowledge can mislead a lot of people to think they have 100% of the knowledge in the universe, and make mistakes according to scientific rules that actually are true. There are things that we don’t know and even more things yet to be discovered about the human brain and its relations, we’re just at the beginning.

    PS: thanks for the content 😉

  • I like the emphasis on skilled practice with broad foundations in the theoretical and practical. I would also include library science, business knowledge, some IT skills and soft skills around influencing, negotiating and communicating. The best practitioners seem have a T-shaped profile; a couple of deep-skills and working knowledge of the full range.

    Can I add a fourth point to your pin=board manifesto?

    4. Campaign for independent certification of design professionals.

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