The principles of human centered design apply, even if you don’t follow the process of human centered design, because what are the principles with the first one is the human centric focus upon the people that whatever you’re doing is intended for, whether you’re doing a service or product or organizational structure or a new way of, I don’t know, stocking the warehouse or putting things on shelves, whatever you’re doing, always think of the people and all the people, not just the people, say, who are going to retrieve the items you put in, but the people who have to put the items up there in the first place. And if you were in the health care system, you have to think about patients and their families and the physicians and the nurses and also the medical personnel and the technicians and for that matter, even people who do the scheduling and cleaning the place.
You have to think of it as a system and look at all of the components that a second important thing find the right problem. Almost always when somebody gives me a problem to solve, I refuse to solve it because it’s not the right problem. It’s the symptom of the problem. And I want to solve the fundamental basic problem, because if I can solve the basic problem and guess what, the symptoms disappear. But that’s not always so easy and it can take a lot of time. And even though I argue strongly, you should always try to solve the fundamental root problem. Sometimes it’s OK just to solve the symptoms. And finally, you have to think of everything as a system. Everything is interconnected. So if you solve this tiny little piece, well, that’s kind of nice. But sometimes optimizing each of the small pieces gives an inferior result. Optimization of the local does not mean global optimization. And so we should always be thinking of the big picture. What is the final result we care about? And user experience isn’t always the most important component because take a camera. What’s the camera about? All those controls know the camera is just a tool to get the real user experience, which is the experience of enjoying the movie, the video of the picture. It’s the end result that matters. And so we should be focused on making it easier for people to get to the end result.
We don’t have to focus on the details of the tools. Those have to be understandable and usable. But remember, the important thing is the real goal of the people who use our products.