Hello friends / readers, I have returned from my recent trip to Rome & Cinque Terre and have some reflections on Product Design. Specifically how all of the beauty and splendor of your magical city (or product) can be compromised due to not cleaning up your product, or in this case, your city's walls. For those interested in trip recommendations (food tour!) just scroll to the bottom.
Rome is an amazing place, but I couldn't help noticing the graffiti everywhere. I'll save the Broken Window Theory discussion for Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point (great book). While walking to some of the most awe inspiring man made sites ever created in the history of our planet, I was shocked by the amount of graffiti EVERYWHERE. I love Banksy as much as the next guy (and live in NYC), but these were no Bansky's. I'm not sure if the Polizia have bigger fish to fry or if it's just a lack of care on the part of the city's property owners, but the amount of graffiti was a bit off-putting. I thought I stepped into the outer reaches of the Bronx, but I was just steps from the Colosseum.
What I learned was that no matter how beautiful your city or product can be, the small details matter. It doesn't matter if you have designed the next Facebook, if your product has a poor UI, bad font choices, non-responsive design, bugs, performance issues, etc. these are the things that people remember.
I see it everyday. I'll meet with users and ask them about a new enhancement, or a new problem that I can try to solve for them. Some of these users will say "Just make it FASTER. Stop working on new stuff and just find a way to speed this thing up". While not my favorite response, I appreciate the honest feedback. Don't be disheartened if you get this kind of response. It's better than the user dismissing you, or them not using the product at all. It also generally means that you are "in" with them since they are comfortable giving it to you straight.
Basically, when it comes to Product Design, sweat the small stuff because sometimes it's all your users will remember.
Rome Tours: "Walks of Italy" (Colosseum & Roman Forum), "Eating Italy Food Tour" (Simply Amazing), "Viator" (Vatican)
Cinque Terre B&B: "Manuel's Guest House"
Your thoughts on sweating the small stuff? Any Italy recs?
Tell me in the comments, ciao!