What’s Wrong With This Picture? (And Why Does It Matter?)

Take a look at the two stickers. Do you see the “R” and the “L?”

Well, the “R” stands for “Right” and the “L” stands for “Left.”

But as you can see, the “R” is on the left, and the “L” is on the right.

Now let me tell you why this is so dumb, and how this silly mistake applies online.

Who Wears Contact Lenses?

People who can’t see.

I know this because I wear contact lenses, and when my contacts are out, I’m practically blind.

Now why is the “R” on the left and the “L” on the right?

I obviously can’t see the letter…

…but the circle is, clear as day, on the left, making me think my “Right” contact lens is actually my “Left” contact lens.

That’s a usability fail.

The person who created the sticker was obviously not a contact lenses user.

And that leads me to my main point…

The Secret Behind Smart Design

What’s the secret?

You are not your user.

Remember that…

No matter what you’re working on, whether it’s a blog design, a web design, an online store, or an app, you’ve got to remember you are not your user.

Yes, you may want to tweak your feature box for higher conversions, but a simple mouse-click test may reveal that there were unintended consequences.

You are not your user.

Yes, you might think your sidebar needs to be overcrowded with junk, but a simple content analysis may reveal that no one clicks on those silly links.

You are not your user.

You might think your blog design looks like every other blog on the planet, but what you find stale, your visitors may find comfortable and familiar.

You are not your user.

“Okay, we get it… What now?”

Once you realize that you’re not creating an interface for yourself, the next step is to find the people you are creating it for, and ask them to play with it.

Can they find everything they want?

Is your content easy-to-read (as in, does it take advantage of the golden ratio for type setting)?

Is your font size the right size?

Do you take advantage of the “line of sight” rule, or do you have images of people looking away from your content?

Do you have your email signup forms in the right places?

Or in sum, are you doing things for YOU or for YOUR USER?

Talk about it in the comments.

About the author: Derek Halpern ran marketing at DIYthemes, and is the founder of Social Triggers. To get more tips on how to be confident, sign up to his list here.