Iteration is About the Users. Justifying is About Yourself.
Some (bad) designers don’t care about validating their designs with the users – real people. They have confidence that as a designer, they will always deliver the best experience to the users. While it’s good to have confidence in your design skill, making something useful that matters to the users is something that differentiates good designer from the bad one. It’s so absurd to design something for people, and never had any interaction with the users. Breakthrough innovation comes from understanding the needs and context of the users. Testing our web/app with the users is a way to validate and iterate quickly, not to justify your design.
Iteration is about the users. Justifying is about yourself.
There’s no excuse to not do testing with the users. We always have limited time and budget, but we should be able to find solutions to any challenge. For example, it’s challenging to get people to come to our office at Viki (with the current location), so we did remote usability testings. We didn’t get budget to give incentive, so we’re trying our luck to recruit people who don’t mind with no incentive, and we got 4 people!
I felt so good after listening to the users. A lot of great insights about how they behave in general, and how they’re actually using our design. It needs practice to be comfortable talking to the users, and it’s worth the effort. I always learn something new, and it gives me positive energy to keep improving the design.