Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Be definitive in your recommendations

...especially when you know a principle you've learned and you need to share that information.

There are times when recommendations are needed because others' expertise are not sufficient. What I'm finding with most people in UX is that they use the word "depends" almost like it's their second breath. I believe there are times that the word "depends" doesn't always work. It can sometimes be misconstrued that we in UX do not know what we're talking about - and because of that, it becomes a credibility issue.

One of the things I very much dislike in people is wishy-washiness, much like how the cartoon Charlie Brown used to be. I'd rather have a definitive answer with options than to just say "depends". I think we owe it to the people we're serving because they don't think like us. To the developers, to the managers out there whom we've been confusing all those times, we need to communicate in such a way that brings home the point.

One thing I like to do is to give the people I serve, options. Options meaning ways to solve an issue or problem because ultimately, it's to the developer or the manager's judgment to go about how they will accomplish the usability objective. Their code and their management makes the product work behind the scenes, so we UX practitioners need to be definitive because the developers and managers are definitive.

No one ever got anywhere being on the fence - they usually get speared by the tip sitting on it too long.

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