User Unfriendly

@ GA Ethics in Design

what makes something? User Friendly?

Easy to learn, use, understand, or deal with


Don’t Make Me Think

Steve Krug

Users spend most of their time on other sites. This means that users prefer your website to work the same way as all the other sites they already know.

Jakob Nielsen

A young man collapsed on the ground,
clasping his sister's hand

…in which there is room for the audience to move around, imagine, and make associations.

– Anne Bogart

It is required that HTML be a common language between all platforms

WWW Project

On the web… Everything is Variable

Sizes, Interfaces, Preferences, Content, Features, &c…

…This implies no device-specific markup, or anything which requires control over fonts or colors.

But… Fonts & Colors are Great

For both authors & users

This proposal tries to soften the tension between the author and the reader.

– Håkon Lie

The user/browser specifies initial preferences and hands the remaining influence over to the document.

– Håkon Lie

If conflicts arise the user should have the last word

– Håkon Lie

           User            Author
Font   o-----x--------------o 64%
Color  o-x------------------o 90%
Margin o-------------x------o 37%
Volume o---------x----------o 50%

Users are all different

experiences, skills, limitations, goals

The fact we can control a paper page is really a limitation of that medium.

– John Allsopp, 2000

Bootstrapping Augmenting Human Intellect

Providing the means for users to create better tools.

Any barrier that exists between the user and some part of the system will eventually be a barrier to creative expression.

– “Design Principles Behind Smalltalk” (Byte 1981)

First Name / Last Name?

and that name never changes…

Under an increasing pressure to monetize the data they store, Facebook looks for ways to limit difference across the site.

– Ben Grosser, How the Technological Design of Facebook Homogenizes Identity and Limits Personal Representation

Make things easy With Machine Learning

The easiest fix for that biased cropping AI? No it’s not to build another AI - it’s to give people the power to select crop boundaries when posting a photo.

– Amy X Zhang, Sep 19, 2020

The most friendly approach Is Respect

Headshot of Sara Wachter-Boettcher

Sara Wachter-Boettcher