Users do not want to learn how to use your product

As a product manager, you might be tempted to assume that users want to learn how to use your product. You provide loads of documentation, a hotline, and a lot of other help for the inquiring user.

However, user are usually not as excited about your cool and fancy product like you are. They have a goal in mind and just want to reach it. If your tool is the right one, fine. If not, they will eventually choose another one (e.g. when it is too complicated to understand).

User action requires three things:

  • Necessary motivation
  • Sufficient ability
  • Effective triggers

Learn here how to provide these three requirements here.


Addendum: I have created a resource stash for all things related to Software Product Management!

Motion in UI Design

UI Design is not restricted to static display only. Motions helps designers improve user experience. The article “Motion in UX Design” explains why:

  • It drives user’s attention and hints at what will happen if a user completes a click/gesture.
  • It helps you orient users within the interface and provides guided focus between views.
  • It provides a visual feedback.

Check out the very good examples as well!

Expecting that people keep their learned behaviour

People learn a certain behaviour and stick to it. The advantage is that they do not need to consciously remember an action, but can act unconsciously, thus reducing cognitive strain.

Now what happens when a well-known UI is changed? People would need to adapt, but will stick to their learned behaviour at first. Like Little Big Details shows, Chrome moved the search field on new tabs but still allows to enter search terms when users tap on the empty area where the field was before.

It looks like an Easter Egg, but is actually a well-designed UI.

Reducing choice to increase focus

Decision fatigue is real: People can only make a certain amount of decisions. A good product is not necessarily the one providing most options in order to fulfil every need, but the one reducing complexity in order to make it easy to use.

It is has to build such a product, because there will always be someone complaining, but focus helps your users.

Designing for error

I didn’t post anything on human behaviour and its relationship to design lately. Here’s one more post with a small amount of slides that quickly summarizes the main points of “designing for error”. Every UX developer, designer and product manager should be aware that people make mistakes, and sometimes don’t even recognise them as mistakes.

Designing for error

User Personas: More thoughts

Every once in a while, I think about the best way to write user personas. The UX Lady wrote a nice post about how to write such personas and provides a template to do so, but my daily experience tells me that the usual templates contain way too much information. If you collect so much information about your users, that’s a great way to learn about them and segment them, but in order to use them in user stories, they contain more information than necessary. I usually constrain my user personas to the following:

  • Name
  • Picture
  • Quote
  • Short background description
  • Technical experience
  • Frustrations
  • Motivations
  • Ideal world

This is sufficient to effectively work with them.