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Design matters July 16, 2006

Posted by Joey Valdez in Ideas!.

ctrlz.jpgHere are some useful principles, approaches, and concepts culled from (human factors) design:

  • The Don’t Make Them Think Principle. Standardizing processes, creating rituals, and the K.I.S.S. concept go a long way.
  • The Boomerang Principle. Providing good system feedback to users – like “you are here” or “the road ahead” maps -and ensuring the primacy of user safety is non-negotiable.
  • The Ctrl-Z Principle. Creating a system that is error-forgiving – where you provide a way for people to retrace their steps and undo the “oops” and “uh-ohs” – is important because we are wired to make errors and mistakes.
  • The Woah! – Bang! Principle. Start (woah!) and end (bang!) well – first impressions and first encounters matter more than we think, and ending with an uptick makes people remember the experience better. Having unexpected extras in between also enhances the experience.
  • The Coffee or Tea? Principle. Providing users a choice builds commitment, and makes people invested in the process.
  • The Don’t Mess with Mr. In-Between Principle. Just like the song, accentuate the positive, and eliminate the negative – especially waste. Behavioral scientists also suggest to lump up and do away with the bad things first, and to release “goodies” at intervals.
  • The 800-Pound Gorilla Principle. Use metaphors, analogies, and themes to communicate ideas and concepts effectively. Is your organization a lemon, or is it the 800-pound gorilla everyone tries to emulate?


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