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By Brian Biddle

Design is for humans

September 21, 2018

One of the declarations from the Cluetrain Manifesto’s Ninety-Five Theses is: Conversations among humans beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice. Similarly, a website’s design is for humans and must look and feel human. Designed in a way that is natural and easy to understand.

I love this quote from Brian Boyer in thinking about human-centered design.

Submit’ is my least favorite user experience word of all time.
That’s a lot to be asking of people.

I’ve used the “Submit” text thousands of times over the years as I mockup and create email signup forms and various other input actions. It’s not a great term. Over the past year, I’ve moved toward using more natural (human) language for any call to action inserted into a website. The text for a button is a simple illustration, yet shows the power of using more human-focused approach to enhance your design and make it more user-friendly.

The same goes for how we introduce ourselves to others online. At LexBlog we’ve developed tools that allow us to organically weave in a users bio, photo, and social links in more natural locations at the bottom of post content. These bits of info “fit better” here than placing above the post or in the side column where they become disjointed or billboard-esque.

The key to a more human design approach is to think like the user as you’re designing and building your product. Simple questions like:

  1. Is this something I’d use?
  2. How would I introduce this if I were speaking to someone?
  3. Have I shown this to my peers?
  4. Have I tested this on potential users?

Designing for humans means other humans are involved in the process. You are stepping out of the silo of your own space and interacting with others. Hence, being human.

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