Designers intuition?

Human behaviour has always intrigued me. That’s perhaps why Dan Ariely’s book, Predictable Irrationality struck a chord with me. In this video, Dan Ariely explains in this TED talk of how it is important to test intuition. With 70% of his body burned, Dan had to endure the painful process of bandages being ripped off of him. The nurses felt that it was the best approach since they felt that ripping the bandages minimised the pain. Three years later, when he left hospital, Dan was able to run experiments by simulating his situation and found that the nurses, with all their good intentions and experience were, in fact, wrong.

As designers, we often are confident that our intuitions are right as opposed to anyone else’s. However, it’s important to test our designs, no matter how right they feel. There is a school of thought as Paul Boag points out in his article, who feels that excessive testing stifles innovation. I believe that if that the purpose of the product is clear and if it is pleasurable to use, users will eventually embrace the product, though it might seem disconcerting at first.


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