Uxioms

Axioms for designing a user's experience

1. Instructive Animation

  • Show, don't teach.
  • Primary learning occurs by doing and failing.
  • Secondary learning occurs by listening and trying to repeat.
  • Tertiary learning occurs by failing to repeat and studying.

2. Examples belong with categories

  • Archetypes signify and illustrate groups.
    • Don't explain categories, exemplify them.

3. Be easy on the eyes

  • Scannability. Then readability.
  • Most users scan, then read.
  • Follow suit, don't force it.

4. Be polite. Map real life to your experience.

  • speak to your user like a flesh-and-blood customer
  • error messages are the designers' mistakes, not the users'
  • Users tend to blame themselves when things go wrong; don't blame them

5. Minimalism - design, then subtract!

  • don't provide options, unless demanded
  • direct your user, instead of catering to them

6. Storyboarding: play out the scenarios

  • write your characters
  • write your plots
  • build your stages
  • play - seek mutual enrichment

7. Color: be judicious

  • no day starts bright
  • mimic mating rituals, flashes of color
  • contrast is the key, not flair

8. Re: Meaning, Pictures > Words

  • to convey a deeper message, focus on nonverbal communication
  • focus on implications of visual and interactive design

9. Re: Information, Words > Pictures

  • to convey information, focus on clear, readable language
  • information architecture is paramount

10. Feedback - less choices, less error

  • Choices introduces error. More choices introduce more error.
  • More users mis-select on a 5-point scale than a 2-point scale.
  • Maximize the accuracy of your feedback.
  • Ask yes or no questions; accept explanations.

11. Use your dimensions

  • map the use to the case
    • e.g., long-scrolling for long interest
    • e.g., quick steps for fleeting interest
    • leave space to breathe where possible

12. Aim for the majority

  • be messier and larger, rather than structure and complet

13. Technology is hard to understand

  • Don't pretend otherwise.
  • You are smart; but don't be a spacehuman.
  • Don't bet your great ideas on a fad
  • Your scary new idea could become a trend.

15. Know your worthwhile

Who benefits from the data you volunteer?

  • You or (Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon)?

16. Respect your elders?

Infotech tends to take no prisoners. Software will eat the world.

  • Microsoft abstracted us from efficient data entry
  • Apple abstracted us from personal data/media centrism
  • Amazon abstracted us from literature
  • Facebook abstracted us from earnest social interaction
  • Google abstracted us from our unrealized, nascent desires

17. Offer omotenashi

18. Tit-for-tat Plus Plus

Turn at least two cheeks before striking back

The most successful strategy in the Game of Life as described by Richard Dawkins in the Selfish Gene

19. Make no assumptions

When entering a new space, examine the premises. Question the foundation until it is rock solid, then begin to build. This process leads us back to first-principles and often yields tenets.

Started writing uxioms-spec for a UXioms website way back when. Think I once had [uxioms.com][] and let it lapse for lack of putting anything there.

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Uxioms