Don’t forget your user experience common sense

I read an interesting article the other day that reminded me about how user experience principles never change. This struck me at a time as I am trying to draft my own design principles to use at work. The principles may be fundamentally the same, but how they are applied can vary a lot. Take a look at the 20 Guiding Principles for Experience Design, written by @whitneyhess, which does a nice job of outlining these UX principles. These principles are founded on the research that Jakob Nielsen and many others determined through psychology studies and user testing.

This brings me to the realization that no matter how you write them, or whichever order you list them, the principles will always be found on the most basis concept, common sense.

Common sense is defined as “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.” This definition encapsulates what user experience is for me. User experience analysts are trying to give users enough facts in a situation to make a judgement. Ideally the judgement the user makes is inline with the business objectives and also leaves enough impression on them to share those facts or the situation with others.

As you begin to find your way in the field of user experience, remember the simple definition of “common sense” is really the first strategy to defining your principles.


4 thoughts on “Don’t forget your user experience common sense

  1. Excellent article, Keith. Beautifully written too. Thanks for the link to Whitney Hess’s post, “Guiding Principles for UX Designers.” How can you not love her photo caption: “She believes empathy builds empires.”

    You and your readers would also like this book with a mouthful of a title: “Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated: 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach through Design.” Every spread treats one of the 125 principles, with a description on the left and visuals on the right. A treat for the brain and the eye.


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