Imaginative Constraints and Inspiration


Dan Freeman 

I’m working as a software engineer in day time. I have to work within many constraints in each an every project I’m working. Constraints comes in may forms, they can be physical, technical or imaginative. This blog post is intended to explain few thoughts I had on imaginative difficulties I faced very recently.

In good old days, we had user manuals for software we used. Manuals described what each user interface element  does and how users can get done tasks. Now if we consider the apps we use on daily basis or web sites that we visits, we don’t have user manuals for those. User interface items we find in those applications are very intuitive for us, those have been placed in right places very carefully.

I’m currently doing a research on user experience for data analytics platform that has interfaces over web, desktop and mobile. I lost myself in there. How do we decide which user experience suites the most. I reached a colleague whom have a sensible amount of user experience development and asked how do you do your magic. His response was very simple; “You have to understand users needs and walk on his shoes. Decide what would you prefer to have”.

I was thinking… How does an architect design buildings that anyone can walk through without any guidance. Isn’t it understanding what you are expecting for a certain experience and unconsciously communicate that message with others? What does a solid metal elevator convince to us? Isn’t that a message about reliability and safety?

I concluded, yet thought to explore more, that looking elsewhere and bringing experiences from out side of my universe is essential in user experience design.