I ran across an interesting article entitled “Six Things User Experience Designer Forget When They Criticize Websites” that discusses how UX designer are quick to criticize before understanding why certain decisions were made. This is something that I have caught myself doing.
In fact, recently, I was helping out a friend who is starting her own business. She has never created a web site, but had found a hosting company who catered to non- technical people. The site she came up with wasn’t what I would have done and I was quick to think about a million things she did wrong. Fortunately, I didn’t spit all of those out to her because it wouldn’t have sounded constructive at all which is what she asked for.
Once we were able to sit down to talk, I asked her what the purpose of the site was and who the target audience is. These two questions are critical for me to provide the best site design possible. After finding out those answers, several of the things I was criticizing actually made sense for her site. I was amazed at the amount of research she had done to come up with what she did and she was able to defend a lot of the decisions. Not all clients can do this, but when they can, it is very helpful.
One of the main points in the article talks about how business decisions can sometimes trump the user experience. In this example that was exactly what happened. Hopefully, when it does happen it’s not such a poor user experience that it hinders the bottom line.