Avoiding easy

If a feature or product were legitimately easy the user would not be writing in to support about how stuck they are. Sure, some percentage of users will find questions to ask about any interface. But do you want to start the conversation by assuming the user falls into that percentage? You venture to learn much more if you assume the software is wrong, not the user.
— Andrew Spittle, “Avoiding Easy”

This post by Andrew on avoiding the word “easy” in support is golden, but perhaps predictably, this is the part that stood out when I read it. If your user is confused, chances are, the software is wrong. No bugs necessary.

Required reading is what Andrew linked to in this paragraph: Joe Flood’s blog post about a comment Matt Mullenweg made at WordPress DC last summer, “The software is wrong, not the people.”

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Andrew Nacin

Lead developer of WordPress, living in Washington, D.C. Follow me on Twitter.

12 thoughts on “Avoiding easy”

  1. Thanks for the highlight, Nacin! I’ve added Joe’s blog post to my Instapaper for later on too.

    As someone who’s worked in support for a range of different companies, I completely agree. For people who are in support the sooner they learn it the better! 🙂

  2. That true I am completely agreed in this that if our user are confused than there is chances that there is something wrong with software.

    Anyway thanks a lot for this insight.

  3. I think that every time I finish a site and explain “pages” are not “posts”. Thankfully, the rest of the interface has gotten so smooth it’s one of the only questions I ever have to answer anymore.

  4. I have been giving this a lot of thought lately, particularly in regards to a plugin I have written. Functionality wise, its great but I think its difficult for your average end user to implement. I have been toying with the idea of adding a wizard to help with implementation. Is there any chance that there will at some point be a “wizard” API in WordPress?

  5. Honored to be “required reading”! Hearing Matt speak was really inspiring. As an end-user (not a developer) it was incredibly refreshing him to hear treat users as people with legitimate needs. I’ve worked as a web editor and have used some awful web content management systems over the years. Vignette, Percussion, etc.. all horrible CMS that you had to adapt to or trick into doing what you wanted. In contrast, WP just works from the very first day you try it.

  6. Na czerwonym dywanie Matka Boska co prawdziwość w dalszym ciągu lubi błyszczeć, jakkolwiek obecnie w sukienkach od chwili najlepszych projektantów. Jeśli pogoda sprzyja, sukienki wieczorowe do faktycznie delikatnej i zwiewnej sukienki w każdym calu pasować

  7. Wystarczy zaczesać włosy do tyły, nieznacznie potarmosić natomiast zespolić źle gumką aż do . Można je wnosić nie wręcz przeciwnie od chwili wielkiego dzwonu,ale dodatkowo jak sukienki.

  8. Świetny artykuł oby takich więcej, wiele informacji jest bardzo pomocnych i pomocnych z pewnością sukienki wyciągnę z tego tekstu bardzo dużo przydatnych wiadomości , bardzo dziękuję autorowi i prosze o wiecej takich artykułó

  9. I couldn’t agree more. This is a point I make on a regular basis. I work with a LOT of clients and a large portion of them are entry level users. From my perspective, I learn a lot from these users as to how things should work. If they are having trouble with something that we consider second nature, it’s probable that we need to take a look at how these elements work and maybe rework them to be more intuitive. I tend to use support requests as a learning experience for how to answer future support requests.

  10. After I initially commented I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me
    when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I recieve four emails with
    the exact same comment. Is there a way you are able to remove me from that service?


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