Why Consumer Products Have Inferior User Experience

People use these devices [i.e. remotes] while watching movies or TV shows at home. Given this, two key elements of the user’s situation are likely to be:

  • Wearing glasses for distance viewing, rather than reading
  • Low levels of lighting

Of course, a young designer whose vision hasn’t yet started to deteriorate wouldn’t have the first problem. And anyone reviewing design options in a brightly lit meeting room wouldn’t have the second problem. Finally, professionals reviewing design proposals are likely to be sober, whereas many of their customers will be making a major dent in a six-pack, reducing both visual acuity and clarity of thought. If your customer base is likely to imbibe, you must design accordingly.Jakob NielsenWhy Consumer Products Have Inferior User Experience (Alertbox)

I used to tell my tech writing students, “Write for Homer Simpson.”