If you've ever owned a poodle, you know that they're a lot of work, but extremely smart and very fun to have around. We have to bathe and groom ours once every 2 weeks and we go through a lot of shampoo, conditioner, and detangler. This means that Atwoods is on our regular grocery rotation for doggie grooming products.
As we checked out today with a cart full of shampoo, I had an embarrassing moment when the cashier asked for my digital signature. I spent what felt like 30 seconds looking for the stylus pen that's normally sticking up from the credit card interface, attached with a short cord. After enjoying a giggle at my expense, the cashier pointed it out to me, saying "don't worry, it happens all the time."
Don't worry, it happens all the time.
I was apparently not at all the first person to struggle. The pen was not round, made to fit the screen snugly with a low profile, and was “well-designed” by all aesthetic standards. It looked clean, sleek, and had angles that were attractive to the eye. There was only one problem (well, maybe two):
- A writing utensil is a familiar piece of everyday life, with defined patterns. Breaking dramatically away from these patterns made the product invisible to a first-time user.
- I could just have poor observation skills - but the point stands!
It's one thing to design for the eye. But it takes experience and thoughtful consideration to create something beautiful and intuitive to use (at least for a well-defined group of people). That also raises the issue of knowing who and what you're designing for. What an amazing hack to produce better work!
Does this resonate with you? We're looking to hire someone who can think about the end user. If you're a designer or motion graphics animator with a solid portfolio, we'd love to talk about working with you on upcoming projects.