Steve, is that you?

What do startup founders with a Steve Jobs complex and a HiPPO have in common? They think they know better than their the users.

Granted, they probably do know a great deal about their business. They have a brilliant idea for a new digital product! It came to them in a flash of inspiration and was hastily scribbled onto the nearest scrap of paper. They know what it’s supposed to do, how it will help their business, and what the value is for their customers. They know their product inside and out so they know how to design it, right?

dont let the boss do it


‘You are not your user’

It’s a permeating truth in UX and well accepted by good designers everywhere. Designers get it because they have to. Their kid’s orthodontics bill relies on them designing a stellar product.

Good designers are willing to be empathize with users and to set aside their ego to base their prototypes on research.

when someone has evidence

They’re willing to subject their designs to the criticism of usability testing, and to iterate again and again until the users decide its perfect.

please win

There is a certain something in a designer’s willingness to be vulnerable.

HiPPOs and Steve Jobs complexes think they know, so they’re not willing to be vulnerable or think like their users. If they decide to go it alone and design their product themselves, they will end up with a product that works perfectly for self-sufficient startup founders or highly paid executives. Are their users executives? Are their users startup founders? Probably not.

A good designer will want input from the people who know the most about the business, so a founder or executive’s knowledge of the biz is quintessential to the success of the product. But the designer may challenge your ideas and ask for evidence. Trust in the design process. Remember, they’re trying to design something for your users, not for you. That’s why you hired them.

Know thy user and thy product wont suck.

too many features

This article is part of UX101 – a series designed to educate and inspire complete UX newbies.

Shout to uxreactions.com for the gifs 🙂