5 UX lessons from Katie Melua

Yesterday on my way home from Oxford I came across Katie Melua on the plane.

Katie MeluaI had a little chat with her and got back to my chair. Then I started to remember my favorite songs and lyrics of her which brought me to include this fantastic singer to our UX world. Let’s see what she has to say on the design.

Song#1: Spider’s web

The piano keys are black and white but they sound like a million colors in your mind

Now think of your wire frames. You know what lies beneath every grayscale placeholder, every tiny pixel but it is really in your head only. Others may just see a concept while other may not get those at all. So you need more than this to make your design understandable to your team. Prepare interactions, construct customer journey maps, include others in the design process. The more work you do here the more constructive feedback you’ll receive and more time you save later on.

Song#2: Shy boy

Just give me a shy boy.

UX Researchers tend to value more the users who are chatterbox during testing sessions rather the introvert ones. That’s understandable. You might get insights quicker and easier from them and then you filter the less valuable quotes.

But who uses your app? Do you want construct your product only for easy going extraverts? I might doubt it. Be brave enough to encourage shy ones and be friendly. I guarantee the feedback will be interesting.

Song#3: Ghost town

Th thing that makes me feel the most down, is the feeling that I’m living in the ghost town

Don’t design in solitude. When the idea pops to your mind as others for comments frequently. A conversation is always better than the monologue.

Song#4: 9 million bicycles in Bejing

More or less. There are UX basic facts and truths but people’s behavior on the web is evolving over the years. So don’t base your design on what was valid 2 years ago nor trust everything you read on the UX ¬†blogs. Test and test often.

Bonus track: Be nice, always!

I imagine it happens on plenty occasions that someone approaches Katie Melua, involves her in a conversation and eventually ask for a photo. It must bore her to death but still she smiles and remains extremely friendly.

If your users make the effort to reach you always be nice and be thankful to them for the feedback they give you even if it is the one you dreamt of :)