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November 22, 2009

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And about Google - they were truly able to change behaviors because of the mind-blowing speed and (in the beginning) relevancy of their results. Google's speed was nothing short of magic.

Unfortunately, not all products and services can be so amazing as to change the course of human behavior - to be paradigm-shifting. That is such a tall order for most entrepreneurs and companies...

Maybe it's the job of the marketer to at least make it appear as if the product or service is a serious game changer.

I wonder if China's richest woman thinks about how her product is marketed as she goes to bed at night. She is the CEO of Nine Dragons Paper Company, and the product that has made her wealthier than Oprah Winfrey is cardboard boxes.

Well, I consider myself part of this stable of "user-centered" design thinkers/researchers, and this summary post doesn't offend me at all because I believe these "interpreters", the ones who can really push the design envelope by envisioning/forecasting/predictioneering novel and stable patterns of human behavior, are able to do so by one of two ways: they are either sheer freaks of nature and are geniuses, or they have already spent a lot of quality time intensely observing human behavior and are able to crystalize this intense observation and make great design proposals because of it. They are able to see the future in the "blink" of an eye as Malcolm Gladwell would put it, because they've been observing all along. Not just observing, but observing well - with meaning, I guess you would say.

I also don't think that user-centered designers necessarily claim that "the user is always right!" is a hard and fast rule. To do the job well, they should absolutely be obliged to interpret, read between the lines, and at least try to divine the future, not just improve prompts and system feedback to accomplish Task A .5 seconds faster for the customer!

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