Good Job, Dr. W!

Dr. Susan Weinschenk

I had the good fortune to meet Dr. Susan Weinschenk when speaking at the same conference in 2011. If you haven’t seen some of the material flowing from her desk recently, I’d urge you to check out an article on the psychology of UX Design and a cool little video about the ROI of UX. There are a few things I’d like to emphasize and a few things that I’d respectfully append.


  1. Calculate the ROI:  Yes, at times it seems like motherhood and apple pie that well-conceived Usability/Human Factors plans and resources are money well-spent, but executives think in dollars and yen. To approve the next project, they must clearly see the bottom line of this project and then whallah! They’ll see the penny-wise-ness of your User Experience (UX) project and how “pleasing the customer” equals big bucks in the end. A Change Request at my last job cost $225,000, and it didn’t get approved until we provided proof that the corporation should see $2.5M in addition revenue by avoiding novice task incompetion.
  2. Cluster Just Enough Info:  Amongst the top three reasons customers come to us for redesigns is something I call “information spray fire”. Marketeers want to show everything their competitors have plus the added bonus of the kitchen sink, but haven’t stopped to consider what THEIR customers’ goal(s) are and how to organize it into simple groupings. Keep It Simple [Sir] !
  3. Humans Make Errors: Nearly every UX to-do list includes “Undo”, Back”, “Home”, etc. If you give the user a parachute, there will always be a safe landing. If you don’t, the flight might go OK but eventually they’ll crash and burn.