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    UX: Don’t Be Too Rigid
    James Nagy
    / Categories: Design
     

    UX: Don’t Be Too Rigid

    I read a great article the other day with the analogy that getting UX right is like walking a tight rope.  I agree wholeheartedly. In my opinion, bad user experience starts when a programmer has decided how the user should do something, but the user wants to use the program a different way.  Good user experience allows for flexibility.  The point is –don’t be too rigid.  Just like walking that tightrope, if you keep it too rigid, there isn’t any wiggle room.  One thing I’ve found is that people need wiggle room. 

    You have to remember that there is always more than one way to do something and you have to be able to anticipate the perspectives of your different users and what uses they may need to have for your product.  Keep in mind that not everyone is going to use the system the exact same way.  Allowing for flexibility will ensure that your users won’t lose interest and give up.

    Obviously, you don’t want to have the opposite problem and be so flexible that there is no rhyme or reason for the way things are set up or run.  Your user is then going to get lost in the lack of order.  The key is balance.

    When we’re talking about bad user experiences, programmers who decide exactly how a user should be doing something ranks at the top of that list.  One big component in creating great UX is looking at things from every perspective and understanding that the way you do something isn’t the way everyone is going to do it.  What if the only way you could eat an Oreo was by taking a direct bite?  No twisting it apart, no milk dunking, no frosting eating, etc.  People do things differently.  Give your users more than one way to reach a solution and anticipate their needs.  Otherwise, you make the list of awful user experiences.

    It is not a one size fits all experience.  What have your favorite user experiences been?  Those positive experiences should influence the way that you develop things for your users.  What kind of flexibility do you look for?  What kind of rigidity drives you nuts?  If you try to dictate exactly how every user uses your product, they are going to have the same gripes.

    Have an example of UX that is way too rigid or way too flexible?  Comment below!

     
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    James Nagy

    James NagyJames Nagy

    Looking for a business consultant, how can I help? As Co-Founder and Managing Partner of J&S Tech Designs, I have three decades of experience and expertise to share with you and help your business, product, or idea thrive.

    Other posts by James Nagy
    Contact author Full biography

    Full biography

    As a strategic leader and entrepreneur, James Nagy has a record of generating growth by leveraging the latest technologies to drive sales, marketing, product development, and profitability. He is known for identifying and capitalizing on market trends, developing effective tactics for implementation, enhancing operating performance, and serving as a trusted advisor and business partner. Skilled at working across operations, James builds strong, cross-functional relationships and communicates complex technical information to diverse internal and external stakeholders.

    A big picture visionary, James identifies and reacts to market trends, providing disruptive strategies that go beyond IT to include sales, marketing, and product portfolio management. Building on his experience as Director of Software Development with premier companies Midas International Corporation and SXC Health Solutions, Inc., James launched two successful consulting companies, Sprocket Websites Inc. and J&S Tech Designs. As the Managing Director, he provides innovative solutions to clients in small- and mid-cap companies.

    When he is not advising other business leaders, James lends his expertise to a variety of organizations. He is a Founding Member & Committee Member of the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce; he serves on multiple teams and committees for the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce; he is a Founding Member of the Chicago Area DNN User Group, and he serves on the Board of Directors of the New West Symphony. In his free time, James enjoys Sci-Fi, coin collecting, traveling and wine tasting.

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