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MIT course: User Interface Design

I’ve been exploring MIT OpenCourseWare and I’ve made a list of courses that seem particularly relevant to IAs. Of that list the most obviously relevant is User Interface Design and Implementation.

I haven’t been through the whole course but what I’ve skimmed through seems to be decent introductory stuff:

“The user is always right. Don’t blame the user for what goes wrong. If users consistently make mistakes with some part of your interface, take it as a sign that your interface is wrong, not that the users are dumb. This lesson can be very hard for a software designer to swallow!

Unfortunately, the user is not always right. Users aren’t oracles. They don’t always know what they want, or what would help them…. Users aren’t designers, either, and shouldn’t be forced to fill that role. It’s easy to say, “Yeah, the interface is bad, but users can customize it however they want it.” There are two problems with this statement: (1) most users don’t, and (2) user customizations may be even worse!”

Nobody mention the recent redesign of a major British broadcaster’s website.

Written by Karen

April 2nd, 2008 at 6:59 am