Cardinal Path’s response to COVID-19 Cardinal Path is sharing all we know to help marketers during COVID-19.  Learn more.

I had an interesting discussion with a colleague the other day. Interesting because it was a great example of “not getting” the usability mindset.

A client (who’s in marketing, not a technically-minded person) requested that I not send her zipped files, as she was unable to open them. I happened to mention this to my colleague (who’s on the tech side).

He sneered “Well that’s just a lazy or unsophisticated user”, and implied that I shouldn’t  grant her request.

Really? We shouldn’t accommodate such users?

Before we decide whether these traits deserve punishment, let’s examine what it means to be “lazy” or “unsophisticated” in the context of email, websites, apps, etc.

Being Lazy

If being “lazy” means not liking to fill out long forms, scour online help, read manuals and basically “figure stuff out”… then guess what. 90% of users are “lazy”. Myself included.

Users have better things to do than “figure out” how to use our websites. Assuming users will do so is the height of arrogance. As designers/developers, it’s our job to ensure our site’s functions are not merely self-explanatory, but self-evident. (For more about the distinction, see this post.)

Being Unsophisticated

If being “unsophisticated” means not being technically savvy… then guess what. 90% of users are unsophisticated, including (arguably) me.

When, for example, users want to play a video, they don’t want to be told they must “install a new codec”. They have no flipping idea what codec is, and aren’t remotely interested in finding out. They just want to play the danged video. As designers/developers, it’s our job to make it work easily (e.g. by embedding a YouTube video).

Designing for the lazy and unsophisticated

The vast majority of the population is either lazy (i.e. they don’t want to work hard to figure out our products) or unsophisticated (i.e. not well versed on the latest technologies).

In fact, when it comes down to it, if you’re not lazy or unsophisticated in technical matters, you’re probably a geek.

But most of our end users aren’t geeks. They’re just normal folk, trying to get something done.

We shouldn’t design for the expert, highly motivated minority. We should design for real people, who have other more pleasant things to do than “figure stuff out”. Meeting the needs of the lazy and unsophisticated is our job.

Being rather lazy and unsophisticated myself, I find it easy to relate to normal folk. Which is why I enjoy working in UX.

Sharing is caring!

Popular

COVID-19 Crisis Navigator​

In partnership with Dentsu, Cardinal Path helps you distill the overwhelming news and information into a bi-weekly report highlighting emerging trends and insights during the pandemic.

EXPLORE THE REPORT

Analytics Rising Logo

FREE VIRTUAL EVENT

October 14

Practical Strategies Delivered By Top Minds in Digital Marketing

Register for #AnalyticsRising and get a Starbucks Gift Card when you share the news.

Message Sent

Thank you.

Click here to download access the tool.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you.

Message Sent

Thank you.

Message Sent

Thank you

Message Sent

Thank you

Message Sent

Thank you.

Message Sent

Thank you

Message Sent

Thank you.

Message Sent

Success!
Your message was received.

Thank you.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Thank you for submitting the form.

Thank you for your submission.

Thank you for your submission.

Thank you for your submission.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Thank you for your submission.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Thank you for registering.​

Paid media spend by Government websites increased a whopping 139% YoY in 2020.

2020 Online Behavior Live Dashboard

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

2020 Online Behavior Live Dashboard

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Thank you for submitting the form.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for your submission.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Thank you for registering.

Cardinal Path is continuing with its series of free training. Next we are conducting training on Google Data Studio. Check it out here.
Cardinal Path hosted a live session to connect with you and answer all your questions on Google Analytics.
Get all the expertise and none of the consultancy fees in this not-to-be-missed, rapid-fire virtual event.

Message Sent

Success! Thank you
for reaching out.