Design Psychology

Reward your users: A lesson from dolphins

Originally posted at

One of the great satisfactions of working in user experience is that it is a fundamentally helpful discipline.  Our job is to make it easier for people to do what they want to do with a device or piece of software, with none of the pressure to convince or persuade that is characteristic of sales or marketing.  Ideally, a happy user becomes a happy customer.

But in the real world, the situation is often a bit different.  Clients consult usability experts with a goal in mind – more sales, greater visibility of ads, and so on.  These goals can sometimes seem to be diametrically opposed to what the typical user wants.  So how do usability experts serve two masters, the client and the user?