customers archives

Design doctrine

37 Signals’ Jason Zimdars hits the nail squarely today in his post Stop following directions and start designing:

Of course it is totally understandable to take the ideas of those that pay our bills as gospel. But we should also be reminded that those same people hired us for our expertise. If they just wanted someone to follow orders, they’d probably have hired someone else.

This is especially true in our jobs here on North Temple Street, where design instruction can come from the same people who write actual Church doctrine. I fear too few of us stand up for our own truths, the truths of proportion and color and composition.

While our customers – and yours certainly – are well versed in the gospels of their own sphere, we are the trained experts of design. Often these people who demand that the page doesn’t scroll or whatnot haven’t a clue as to how their message should be communicated.

Instead, let us assert our expertise. Carefully take the customers’ feedback, adjust the design as you see fit, and with confidence explain why those decisions were necessary. In the end, you’ll have progressed the design in ways that improve the product – and not the egos – of your customers.

posted by jason on Wednesday, Jul 29, 2009 · 3 comments

“How important is the voice of the customer? Very. But discerning the difference between what customers are able to say and what they want, and then acting on those unspoken desires, demands that companies learn to go well beyond listening.”
Dorothy Leonard, speaking of the importance of focusing on observation and desired outcomes rather than specific customer-proposed solutions, in “The Limitations of Listening,” Harvard Business Review, January 2002.

posted by ted on Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 · 0 comments

Signal vs Noise’s article on Apple stores get the last laugh gives a good summary of another story about what went into making the Apple stores the unique experience that they are. How it was foretold that they would be a huge failure, but are raking it in hand over fist.

It’s a good read on taking the time to do it right, and working with “prototypes” that are easily changeable before you get to the final product.

posted by aaron on Thursday, Mar 08, 2007