06 March 2011

10 Design Rules for the Dummies

Many people want to know the secret of Apple Inc success. Here is my attempt: Apple iPad vs Window Tablet and The Message behind “Philip Yeo’s Apple Apps’ gullible dummies”.
One of the key secrets is “Design for Dummies”. In the past, I have also made a few posts on Dummies.
  1. Dummy’s Rules
  2. In Praise of Dummies talks about the attitudes and mindset of happy Dummies.
Here is a consolidated and improved list:

The Golden Dummy Rule:
  • Minimum effort with Maximum Returns” or “MaxValue@ZeroCost”
The Rules:
  1. No Brain Rule – Everything should be obvious.
    1. I know straight away which button to press to get what I want.
    2. There should not be any training required.
    3. No need for Instruction Manual.
    4. No need to remember anything at all to use it.
    5. A child should be able to use it.
  2. One Step Rule – Minimize the List of Choices
    1. I just want to press the only one button that I need to press.
    2. Then I could not make any mistake. There won’t be a wrong choice.
    3. This will help me to be stress-free and I won’t be embarrassed.
    4. The number of steps needed is just ONE. Two is worse. Three is the worst. I cannot count to four.
    5. Any function that I don’t need should not be there. (The Lean Rule or No Waste Rule)
    6. There should only have one way to do one thing. Don’t confuse me with multiple ways to do the same thing.
    7. Multiple Birds with One Stone Rule - Multiple related functions are done by One Command.
  3. Complete Rule - Whatever that I need will be there.
    1. There should be no missing function.
    2. I don’t have to find a workaround.
    3. I don’t have to get another device to do the thing I want.
  4. No Movement Rule – No or little effort or movement is needed.
    1. I should not have to use much strength to do it.
    2. I should not need to move to use it.
    3. It comes to me rather than I go to it.
    4. It sticks to me where ever I go. I will naturally leave home with it.
  5. Ergonomics Rule/Naturally Rule – It uses my body parts for input
    1. Typing and mousing are actually not natural to me.
    2. My fingers are better input instruments.
    3. So are my mouth, eyes, nose, head, hands, feet, etc.
    4. I should feel it is so natural. No stretching or no needing me to perform any acrobatic.
  6. Instant Rule – The Response time is zero.
    1. There is no waiting.
    2. I get stress up if I have to wait.
    3. I will also forget quickly not remembering why I did it!
  7. Just in Time Rule – When you need it, it is there.
    1. It tells me just when I need it.
    2. Not too early that cause me to worry.
    3. Not too late that I have no time to react.
  8. Ask Once Rule – Any input from me needs to be requested once only for life.
    1. The system asks me once and remembers it for me.
    2. When I change, the change is propagated throughout.
  9. Don’t Bother Me Rule /Exception Reporting Rule - It tells only me when the thing is going wrong
    1. More then that, it suggests to me what to do.
  10. Know Me Rule – It anticipates my needs and does for me.
    1. This is the ultimate, It knows what I like and needs in various situations and do for me without my command.
Please use the above list to improve your existing offering and come out with better innovation either in business models, customer experience, products, services, solutions, etc.

Lim Liat Copyrighted 2010

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