How to create a satisfying user experience

Don’t give them more choices than they can comfortably handle. 37signals nails this with the comparison of the new Visual Studio vs. Lussomo Vanilla.

The difference between an experience-centered product and a features-centered product is night and day. Users don’t want all the choices in the world. They want the right choices.

Take two ice cream stores. One has 31 flavors, the other just three: chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. You don’t have to have the rainbow brickle crunch as long as you have a decent choice.

This is one thing Microsoft doesn’t always get. Others, like CNET, don’t always get it, either. I’ve seen many products with terrible user interfaces and glaring problems rise to the top of ratings charts because they pack “more features for the price.” I know I write a lot about Apple, but here’s an example: nobody thought people would buy an mp3 player without a screen and without navigation until the iPod Shuffle came along. Whoops. They sure have sold a boatload of practically choice-less Mp3 players.

People don’t want all the choices in the world. They just want a couple of good choices, and they want to be able to trust your company to figure ones are important and provide them in a simple, easy way.

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