NBC Sports fumbles the CFT and PFT redesign

Redesigns are always stressful. There’s always someone that won’t like it for whatever reason. Most of the time, it’s just people unhappy with change. As a designer and administrator, I’ve been involved in many redesigns over the past twenty years.

I’ve worked for a few media companies, and I’m familiar with the politics involved in a redesign and the user experience that people expect. Most projects will involve someone in a powerful position that doesn’t have the experience or training to make decisions that they are responsible for making. People often make frivolous statements like, “It’s too busy” or give advice on how things need to operate or look without taking into account how things should operate and look. By the end of the process you have a website that doesn’t have the users’ best interest in mind.

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Why you need to trust your designer

In your personal life, you visit a doctor when you are sick and a dentist when you’ve got problems with or need maintenance on your teeth. You typically trust the information they give you and accept the treatment they prescribe. After all, they went to school for their field and have years of experience dealing with problems similar to yours.

And what happens if you try to deal with the problems yourself? You aren’t a lawyer, an accountant, a doctor or a dentist. You may be able to get by with your situation, but not without a lot of pain and grief in some form.

So why is it that so many people think that they know better than the User Experience Designers that they’ve employed?

Imagine this scenario:

You’ve got a pain in your side. You’ve done research on the internet, but you aren’t sure if it’s appendicitis or some other kind of pain. You’ve got a couple of symptoms that indicate it could be appendicitis, but you aren’t sure — because you aren’t a doctor.

What do you do?
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