Honest UX Speaks for Itself (Honest UX, Part II)
May 16, 2012
In my previous post about honest UX, I discussed how user experiences can reveal how much a company values and respects its users. Honest UX and good design work together to deliver complete and accurate information to users in a way that allows them to make decisions and complete tasks quickly and easily. In effect, a company’s bottom line is improved in a long-term, sustainable way by earning customers’ trust.
The best user experiences are not always the flashiest, most remarkable or implemented with the newest interactive technology. But they’re the best possible solution for a specific user in a given situation with a unique goal to reach.
As UX professionals, we serve users, reflecting one of Google’s core company truths: “We take great care to ensure that [our products] will ultimately serve you, rather than our own internal goal or bottom line.”
When a company or organization realizes and acts on this requirement, it is obvious in their product or service. Pop Vox, for example – an online service designed to increase awareness of Congressional bills and political party support – tries to solve a problem for its users: lack of accurate, credible information about the current political state of affairs. The founders behind this site realized a disconnect in communication between the general public and Congress and were motivated by a desire to educate and inform people.
Like the makers of Pop Vox, we have to understand the user as the foundation for the decisions we make in designing an experience. In contrast to hiding information from users or creating additional latent hassle and difficulties for them, a successful user experience should solve a problem that people are facing, enabling them to perform a task in a quick, effective and satisfying way.
As UX practitioners and communication designers, it is our obligation to provide users with a clear, complete and accurate picture of the information they need in order to perform that task. Even more importantly, it is our obligation to put other people first, above our own bottom line. And when we do so, the increased trust ultimately benefits that bottom line in the long run. Is it any wonder that the most successful companies of today have principles such as “focus on people” and “be worthy of people’s trust” (Google), “make a difference” (Apple), and “small things matter” (Microsoft)? These ideals should guide our designs, as well as our actions.