There is no perfect solution in this world and there is no one solution that can please everyone.
It does not mean I have not considered the “finer details” just because I haven’t provided the solution that pleases the entire universe.
I am including a dial that scrolls across a wheel to facilitate the selection of modes for the camera I am designing. Kind of like an old-school phone dial.
My lecturer insists that it is annoying for the user to have their hand blocking the screen when turning the dial. He proceeds to load his “Bruce Lee” game app on his iphone4 to illustrate the problem. Because he has huge grubby hands when he is playing the game, his thumbs block off most of the screen and he can’t enjoy the game scenery.
I tell him I understand his point but in my product, the user does not need to interact with the screen when scrolling the dial. The sections of the dial lights up to signal the change in modes, blocking the screen does not affect the experience. But he insist I am being a “low-level designer” because I am not paying attention to the “finer details”. He thinks it is better to have a scroll wheel that can be turned using one’s thumb. And I argue that it is unfair to cast that judgment based on my decision.
Firstly, my target user group have weak fine motor skills and lack dexterity in the movement of their thumbs. Secondly, blocking the screen really does not affect the user experience because the screen is not involved in the change of modes and when the screen is in used the user would not be interacting with the dial. So in my opinion, I am paying attention to the needs of my target-user.
Well, though clearly stumped by what I have to say to substantiate my decision, he still had to have the last say. “Well it seems like you have managed to make everything go the way you want by limiting yourself with the target-user you chose.” Essentially, just because I am able to argue why the different design elements in my product are the way they are (without much loop-holes), he decides to believe that I am “smoke-screening” my way through the project using personal opinions that I am passing off as research. He is also insisting that if he is not convinced, why would the external examiners be. I think, perhaps they would be convinced simply because they are not prejudiced against me.
I know I have done my research, I have spoken to people who specialise in the needs of my target-user and I am hopefully coming up with something that would help make their lives a little better. I don’t know if this is the objective of a product designer as a profession but this is my objective as a product designer - just to make things a little better.