What You See is Not Always What You Get: A Reflection on “Learning to See”

Below is a summary from Information Architect’s website:

If you scrolled down to find the article’s essence in a last nutshell paragraph: Designers are not superior creatures that can ignore listening to other, supposedly inferior beings. On the contrary! Without critical feedback and the modesty to accept all opinions on our work as a perfectly valid, different view no matter who, how or what, we lose our freaky key ability, which is not just to see more, but to see more with one eye, and feel with the other.

Source: http://ia.net/know-how/learning-to-see

This wonderful “love letter” to information design was a wonderfully delightful and non-capricious tromp on how what we learn or see or feel will forever evolve into something that cannot be reversed. When I critique a website or app, I immediately race through these questions:

  • What’s the stack? How did they come up with this stack? Is this good or bad?
  • How’s the typography? Does this appeal to me?
  • Is the UX good to me? Does this matter?
  • Are colors clashing? Do I feel uneasy?
  • Can I find what I need quickly? Do I care?

Instead, the common user of such a website or app will think:

  • I don’t care. What is this?
  • Login required? I’m out.
  • Can’t find what I like and I forgot why I’m here. I’m out
  • This looks cool. Oh well.

We forget from a designer/developer side what the average joe sees and we must personify this out-of-body experience in the mind of the tenable consumer and user.

I’ll keep that in mind. Just what I needed, more voices in my head!


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