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Discussion on: The Arrogance of Building A Perfect Product

scottshipp profile image

Another perspective comes from interaction designer Alan Cooper in the excellent book The Inmates are Running The Asylum. Cooper is famous for being "the father of Visual Basic" and successfully predicted the success of Apple based on their design-first paradigm.

Not to say either is right, but there is some merit in the results of companies like Apple for sticking to design principles. One might say there's overlap with the ideas here, e.g. don't let engineers dictate the product, let designers do it (who should be advocating for user experience).

eekayonline profile image
Edwin Klesman Author

Hey @scottshipp ,

That's an awesome addendum to my article 🙌🏻. And I have to say, I don't disagree with you and Apple as an example.

It all depends on their definition of "perfection". I think that at Apple, they like to build stuff that they're proud of themselves, and that they want the products to be "perfect" because they want to use those for themselves.

If you set yourself as the user, it is easier to understand what you should aim for. And if you represent someone that is right in the middle of a target group, that will work out.

It all depends on knowing and/or finding out if you represent a large enough group to build for and use yourself as a reference.

I think Apple has a lot of user- and usability testing going on within their walls (one round wall??) that we don't see and hear about that much. And that there is a long road of talking about all possible needs, wants and scenario's before they get their products out there.

Anyway, the point I am trying to make in the article is this:

Often trying to build something perfect for your users without engaging with the users from your intended market is a way of "being arrogant" and thinking you know what they want instead of getting proof of that.
Or it is used as an excuse to constrain budgets and "save money" whereas it will cost more money in the end to fix a product or to target another market because your product doesn't fit the intended market.

Thanks again for your comment. Love the book reference, I'll check it out for sure! 👌🏻