In web and app design, we’re surrounded by applications and state-of-the-art software. Thus, a common danger is that we innovate for the sake of innovation. Browse for weather apps, and you’ll find out a myriad of them. From those that really serve a purpose – i.e. Umbrella – to those that focus solely on the design or on features no one really needs. We should think about our must-have items here and be careful about introducing “delighters” unless we’re sure that they are both innovative and serve a purpose for our users.
Even when designing digital interfaces, we can bring Rams’ commandment on board and make our web designs useful by:
- Making them easy to interact with to the point that the user delights in it. This is user enjoyment through user enablement.
- Our design should always show the user what its function is so that there’s never a gap between what the user perceives the design’s capabilities are and what they truly are.
- Designing with a view to guide our users towards the needed interactions. We must make buttons look like clickable buttons and think about positive and negative interactions. Think of traffic lights: green means go (positive); red means stop (negative).
- Not building unneeded elements into our designs. Remember the 80/20 rule and think carefully before adding every element to avoid the chance of clutter.