I'm Aza Raskin @aza. I make shiny things. I simplify.

I'm VP at Jawbone, focusing on health.

 

“Not The User’s Fault” Manifesto

Jono DiCarlo, a former fellow co-founder of Humanized, and a gallivanting user experience firebrand, has condensed his design experience into a thought-provoking and irreverent manifesto.

In sweetend condensed form, here is the manifesto:

1. Why do we code? For people, not for computers.

2. What do most people want? Not a computer.

3. Why does software fail? Its social effect is not what people want.

4. Why has Linux, which is free, not taken over the desktop? “Linux is only free if the value of my time is zero.”

5. Are users dumb? Never. Good UI design is humble.

6. Is UI design marketing? No.

7. What is the task of the UI designer? To make UI disappear.

8. Where is the science in UI design? Underutilized and unknown. It shouldn’t be.

9. Is change good or bad? It has a cost.

10. What is the evil of the bad interface? The sin of wasting the user’s time, breaking the user’s train of thought, and losing the user’s work.

I agree with all of it, except whether UI design is marketing. Great UI design can form the basis of marketing. The iPhone commercials, which were simply tutorials for using the phone, are the prototypical example. Great UI makes for great marketing. It is not a two way street, however. Great marketing can make for some pretty abysmal interfaces. As Jono points out in his manifesto, undecipherable microwaves are case in point.

There is much more to the manifesto than the bullet points above. Some of it will make you angry. Some of it will make you laugh. All of it will make you think. So go read it.

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That’s one good piece on software and UI design. It is very hard to step out of your own character and see a product you’re building with fresh eyes, and trying to think what the “average” user will think.
I’ve recently been working on an extension meant for a very general audience, and the UI is something that has been a top concern since day one. I think we came up with a good product, but that is yet to be determined.
Thanks for sharing!



Blair McBride

I gotta agree with Jono on the marketing thing – UI design and marketing should be completely separate. Its unethical to do it any other way.

I’ve recently had this debate with my boss, who basically thinks that UI design exists only as another marketing technique.

Although marketing can use the UI design; UI design is about people, while marketing is about business.


Marketing also means to find out what people want. So UI design is marketing.

Many people confuse marketing with ads i.e. to tell people about your product. The reverse direction i.e. listening to people is marketing, too.


> Jono DiCarlo [...] has condensed his design experience Too bad I’m a programmer, not a designer. Most of the points in this manifesto are useless to me. For example: > Why do we code? For people My code has no consequence on UI or design, and most of of it is a bunch of algorithms. > What do most people want? I don’t care what most people want, I do what my boss want, which is what his clients want. > Are users dumb? Never. Well, most users don’t try to repair their car themselves, they admit they can’t understand everything. But ooohhh, with computers it’s magical and they think they can do everything themselves. Those are the dumb users, and they do exist.


“4. Why has Linux, which is free, not taken over the desktop?”

Most users mostly just use the web and email, both of which the majority is run by free software operating systems using the Linux kernel.

The reason free software hasn’t taken over the desktop is because the main thing people want to do is go on the web and email.

However, our experience with the web can totally change if free software does take over the desktop!


And yet everyday I am challenged with using the software, instead of getting my job done.


Hi Aza,

Thanks for the condensation! I’ve included this manifesto in a collection of software development manifestos to inspire discussion amongst Agile software developers, product managers and new initiates. Its all open for comments and edits.
http://knol.google.com/k/cindy-f-solomon/software-manifestos/1tpjaipl9w2ft/2#


Most users mostly just use the web and email, both of which the majority is run by free software operating systems using the Linux kernel.


That’s one good piece on software and UI design. It is very hard to step out of your own character and see a product you’re building with fresh eyes, and trying to think what the “average” user will think.



Sex

That’s one good piece on software and UI design. It is very hard to step out of your own character and see a product you’re building with fresh eyes, and trying to think what the “average” user will think.


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Where should we display this information? Well, there’s that tempting giant white area displayed every time a new tab is opened…


thnks
goooooooooooood
min:)


Not entirely what your article is about, but i think you should go the enzo humanized route with ubiquity and remove it from the browser.



Not a spammer

“The reason free software hasn’t taken over the desktop is because the main thing people want to do is go on the web and email.”

Yeah, and Linux can’t even get that right.


thnks
goooooooooooood
min:)ااا


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