UX Greatness Part 2 of 3

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Three things to have UX greatness.  Here is #2.

  1. Good enough isn’t good enough.
  2. Eat bad babies.
  3. Invest in your future.

Eat bad babies.
Every group I have ever witnessed has reached this point sooner or later.  They have something that used to be a good idea.  However, right now, it has become a bad idea.  It no longer works or was ill-conceived or just plain failed or maybe something better came along.  To certain people in the organization, this thing is their baby.  They have nurtured it from a little flicker of an idea into something people have dedicated hundreds or thousands of man hours.  To them, it is beautiful.  (Only a face a mother could love).  To other people, it is an ugly baby and needs to be destroyed.

This moment of crisis is huge.  What do you do?  Do you scrap the thing and start over?  Do you try and salvage it?  Are you polite and walk on eggshells around the mama?  Or do you say, “This baby is ugly” and deal with the consequences.  If you want UX greatness, you must call the baby ugly and then eat it.

It sounds brutal, but it is the only way to get to great UX.  You can’t keep trying to increment your way out of the problem.  An ugly baby almost always can not be saved.  However, the baby isn’t what is important.  The survival of the group is the important thing.  The UX of the customer is the important thing.

Don’t fall in love with your own work.  The baby is ugly, not you!

This was a critical lesson taught to me by Bill Mirbach at Intuit.  Don’t worry about throwing away code or redoing something.  The only way to greatness is to remove mediocrity.   You know what the ugly baby is.  You know why the ugly baby “can’t be removed”.  Now imagine if you DID eat the baby!  Try it once and you will realize that it energizes the team and makes your customers much happier.  It’s worth doing.



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