Design should be super normal

What a great post from investor and entrepreneur Dave Morin, who argues that Japanese ideology of supernormal product design should be applied to social software. He suggests that start with behaviors and ideas that are already normal to users.

A simple list of these concepts might be: friending, following, tagging, posting, sending, sharing, liking, commenting, chatting, listening, watching, writing, uploading, downloading. Each of these concepts has been put to work billions and billions of times by social software systems time and time again over the last couple of decades.

If that is a good starting point for design, then the end goal should be “of course” as my friend Christian Lindholm pointed out eons ago.

Most companies (including web startups), he said, are looking to “wow” with their products, when in reality what they should be looking for is an “’of course’ reaction from their users.”

Puzzled, I looked at him. And then it hit me: Great design means that one look and the end user reacts by knowing what to do with a knob or a button, without as much as even thinking about it.