The Golden Assumptions of Product Design

The Golden Assumptions of Product Design


1 min read

The user is a creature which is:

  1. Largely ignorant.

  2. Inexperienced.

  3. Lazy.

  4. Immediately forgetful.

  5. Often, and at any time, regretful.

  6. Habitual.

  7. Irrationally pain & loss-avoiding.

  8. Irrationally pleasure- and joy-seeking.

And that's OK. There is nothing wrong with users. But this is the baseline you should assume when you design.

So, to address each point (in slam-poetry style):

  1. Show them, don't just tell. When they need it.

  2. Teach them; don't onboard once, but continuously, and repeat it.

  3. Do their jobs, or at least, let them batch it.

  4. Let them easily go back, to re-view. Keep their overview.

  5. Always let them undo, and don't make them redo.

  6. Cut down steps to the absolute few, based on what they actually do. Don't force them to adapt to you.

  7. Treat their input as sacred, so they don't lose, even a few.

  8. Spark joy; invest in small delights, so they are repeatedly attracted to you. You see the utility and business value in that, don't you?