To design well

Say a friend of mine has scheduled a video-call at 3:30 PM German time.

What I want to do is to see her on my laptop screen and start talking to her when it is 3:30 PM. What I have to do is a few among the following actions

– Open up my web-browser

– Enter the call link into my browser window

– Accept cookies on the site

– Sign in on the platform that sent me the call

– Permit the site to access my webcam and microphone

– Enter a passcode if necessary

– Wait for my friend to let me into the call

What I want to do is merely start a conversation. What I have to do is all the non-productive things needed to get there. Great design is about getting as much of that non-productive work out of the user’s way as possible.

Yet, somebody has to deal with all the complexity that comes with starting a video call – creating a stable network connection, protecting the user’s rights, securing their privacy and so on. Great design owns those battles, freeing the user to focus on having a great conversation.

To design well is to give the users what they want. To design well is to also take ownership of everything that doesn’t matter to the user.

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