UX Booth published a great article recently on the fallout between intention and interpretation in design.
“Both interaction designers and information architects want to design objects with a singular meaning. It’s a noble, albeit impossible goal. The best we can hope for is to create more consistently meaningful experiences. To do that, designers must better understand the interplay between designer intention and user interpretation: the ways that we can influence – but not dictate – user interpretation.”
Giving more consideration to our intentions as designers puts us in a better position to create their manifestations. This begins with asking “what are we assuming?,” “what are our design principles?,” “what will this work affect?,” and “what else effects our user’s perceptions?”
The next step – often overlooked – is to examine how users interpret those manifestations; to consider the direct, indirect, and contextual interpretations of our work. This includes asking questions like “what is the content?” and “what is the direct textual material we’re designing?,” “what is the indirect textual material?,” and “what are the contents in which this product is used?”
Bridging this gap will, of course, largely depend understanding context and strengthening communication…
Read the rest of the article on UX Booth