Bathrooms and Lightswitches

When you walk into a dark room and want to see, what do you do? Simple – you just flip on the light switch. Do you think about how it works? Does it confuse you? Do you stop to marvel at the beauty of the light switch hardware?

How many people ponder the intricacies of electricity or the skills of the electrician?

Probably none of the above … you just want some light, so you flip the switch without even thinking about it. It “just works” – letting you get on with whatever it was you were going to do.

How about bathrooms? When you’re in a restaurant and need to visit the bathroom … ? Do you wonder at the amazing wayfinding expert who came up with the clever directional signage? Do you thank the plumbers, the engineers, and the architects who helped create the bathroom? Again, I’m guessing not.

In fact, if you DO have to stop and puzzle out the bathroom or the lightswitch, the designers failed. Those things should be so easy to use that you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to figure them out. The goal is to keep you going (no pun intended), not stop you in your tracks.

Your website needs to be that simple – start designing digital experiences that don’t get in your customer’s way!

pics by Martin Cathrae & Olivander

New Book this Fall: Designing the Digital Experience

I actually wrote a book! I can’t believe it… but I’m pretty psyched about it! Here’s the info for the book:

Designing the Digital Experience: How to Use Experience Design Tools and Techniques to Build Websites Customers Love
ISBN 978-0-910965-83-5/$24.95/208 pp
CyberAge Books/Information Today Inc.
Publication: October 2008 (that’s coming up soon!)

So – it’s coming out this fall, and it’s all about designing digital experiences (long-time readers will recognize that topic – it’s a common one for me, both on my blog and in my presentations). I’ll be posting more about the book as it gets closer to the release date. But for now, here’s a wordle teaser (click through to the larger version in my flickr account if interested)… a tag cloud version of the introduction to the book!

Tag Cloud of the Introduction to my book