Stories related to user experience design (UED)

I have been paying close attention to UED. Here are a few things I have experienced. If the designer thinks more, these embarrassments can be completely avoided.

Freak out after-sales manager

He told me he received a user complaint a few days ago, like this:
"Liar! the microwave popcorn isn't ready at all! I unpacked it and it was full of hard corn kernels and a pile of oil! Can't eat it at all! I microwave it and caught fire! I spent more than 1,000 yuan to buy a new oven! My oven worked for 5 years and it was burnt by your popcorn! Give me compensation for the loss! ... "
The manager was down. He told me and couldn't laugh or cry.

Think of users as idiots

In the summer of 2004, I worked on user interface (UI) design for a period of time. At that time, the project manager said to me: "Just treat users as idiots."

He explained the meaning: Because the user's knowledge and experience are not on the same level, we must consider the dumbest user. They are likely to have just learned to use a mouse (no exaggeration). Can you ask them to understand what a dialogbox is?

Many designers ignore this. The higher the level, the easier it is to ignore these habits that they take for granted. Therefore, for banner ads on websites, I often have to leave a place for a guide button.

Racing game with virus

Around 1998, my aunt bought a 486 computer, and she wouldn't do anything other than typing, so she asked me to install some game.
At that time, I had a F1 racing game floppy disk, so I went to her house and installed it.

A few days later aunt called: "The computer can't load the menu,  the game you installed has a virus."
I'm confused. This floppy disk is write-protected and there is no virus, and, DOS scan for viruses when it boots?

So I changed a few buses and went to the aunt's house. Turning on the computer, I was speechless...... The screen showed:
“Battery state low. Press F1 to continue.”

Packaging Design told by Xu Mingda

At the end of 2009, I attended a course called "Total Quality Control", and the lecturer was the famous Xu Mingda. He told a case:
A company that manufactures precision electronics found that their packing boxes were casually inverted by courier workers, causing losses. Their solution is:

Put labels and text around the box to tell workers that they must place it upward. (But many workers are illiterate or do not follow this sign.)

Make the top of the box a polygon. (But there are still workers upside down.)

Make the top polygon spherical.
(it can't be turned upside down at last, but the rude manipulation of some workers will still place the box sideways)

Welded an iron plate to the bottom of the box. So far the problem is solved.

Xu concluded:
Designer should think about the lowest mistakes so that users cannot make them.

Teacher in junior class of computer school is going to madness

In 2003, I worked as a computer teacher for two months (unexpectedly). The courses are Flash, Illustrator, Fireworks, Dreamweaver. The students are a few years younger than me and we get along well. But there was a problem in class: I was not good at teaching when I was young. The 45-minute course was completed in 10 minutes, and the students did not understand. I have a headache, the principal too.

By contrast, my colleague, the teacher in the junior class is going to madness. 2003 was the time when home computers were just emerging, and his students were all middle-aged, and their ability to grasp and accept knowledge was not comparable to youths. So often such questions asked:
"What's that flashing thing? Where's the ctrl key? Why can't I find my arrow? ..."

He often had to spend a lot of time explaining these questions.

There are so many miscellaneous writing, in short, UED can be seen everywhere.
Many Chinese websites now attach importance to UED. This is an improvement, and the road is still far away.
In my opinion, compared with UED work, users should be taken seriously from the root. This is more important.


So, what's the ending to the fire in the microwave oven mentioned at the beginning of the article?

For customer complaints and compensation claims, the after-sales manager did not agree. His reasoning was that customers did not follow the instructions and that popcorn should not be opened before putting it in the microwave. The final result was compensation for two packs of popcorn, less than 10 yuan. (This is not as high as the compensation for a bag of beef jerky. --The customer said that it tasted like s**t -- The after-sales manager approved the compensation without hesitation, "to admire his courage." He said.)

"If your home is on fire, do you ask the match factory for compensation?" He told to the arbitrator.

After many years, I searched for the case of the fire of microwave popcorn. This is possible if the heating time is long, but the number of fires is very small. (only 4% of kitchen fires are caused by microwaves, and 2% of them cause injuries.) So microwave ovens are still very safe.

If open the popcorn packaging before putting it in the microwave? I did not find the result. Maybe no one did it.

So, how to avoid the fire hazard of this case in the design of UED?

If I design it, in addition to writing on the packaging, I will cut more at the seal, making it impossible to unpack the package. It can only be expanded by heating the air inside.

I probably plan the packaging like this.


  1. 就把用户都当成白痴,经典

    用户体验,是个很难的东西。像Microsoft Bob那样,看上去很人性,实际上体验却更糟,现在这样的网站不少

  2. 设计人员不能充分的扮演用户角色去实现友好是比较难的。
    呵呵 我想知道你们经理如何处理此事的 ?

  3. 用戶不按說明操作導致危險,說到哪裡都有理啊。最後退貨款了事。


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