Curse of interaction design

As I was sorting through some papers, I came across one of my favorite sections from Alan Cooper’s book, The Inmates are Running the Assylum:

If, as a designer, you do something really, fundamentally, blockbuster correct, everybody looks at it and says, “Of course! What other way would there be?”

This is true even if the client has been staring, empty-handed and idea-free, at the problem for months or even years without a clue about solving the problem.

Most really breakthrough conceptual advances are opaque in foresight and transparent in hindsight.

If you shout the solution from the rooftops, others will say, “Of course the wheel is round! What other shape could it possibly be?” This makes it frustratingly hard to show off good design work.

I imagine this curse plagues many people in problem-solving professions. The clients hire you because they have a problem they’ve been unable to solve themselves. Then, when you present a “really, fundamentally, blockbuster correct solution,” the solution seems so obvious that they wonder why they’re paying you.

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