Michael Gaigg: Über UI/UX Design


Under-Design on Purpose

Posted by Michael Gaigg

Paving the cowpath

Paving the cowpath

The Situation

I was invited to help with some open design questions for a beta version of a product, a prototype already existing.
The question on hand is fairly simple, how can we visually show the quality of the data (in the grid) to the user? Should we use green up arrows and red down arrows (two symbols)? green, yellow (kind of not sure marker), red checkmarks/crosses (3 symbols)? Percentages? A, B, C, D, F (like the US school system, with F is Fail but the others show grades of good quality, 5 symbols)? The latter was tossed out immediately after having three different school systems sitting at the table (Spain, India, Austria).

The Setup

So I found myself in a situation where a single requirement started to explode into a universe of great ideas and variants that the team of developers tried to incorporate as they popped up. I tried to keep up with mocking up in my mind what I thought fit. Every new take promised greatness but required compromise somewhere else.

The Turning Point

Only when the discussion started to run in circles I felt it was necessary to step up. I was in a dilemma, I knew a decision had to be made and I knew also that it was up to me to speak out. So I said...

The Solution

"Let's keep it simple" - Ha, you could have come up with that too, right? Well, what I really said was: "Let's don't do anything and let the users complain that they are missing something." Or in other words, let's pave the cowpath.

So we decided to include 1 symbol, the red flag, to show the bad items, no other item will be marked, neither the good ones nor the one within a threshold between good and bad. Let's sit and wait to receive feedback that what we assume we might need is actually needed.

What would you have done?


Highlights of Week 32/2011

Posted by Michael Gaigg