Design & Content Conference (Vancouver, July 2016)
Content, Design & The Blind Spots that
Ruin Products & Experiences
Have you ever read an article,
and thought “this wasn’t made
“A business suffers from marketing myopia when a
company views marketing strictly from the
standpoint of selling a specific product rather than
from the standpoint of fulfilling customer needs.”
- Ted Levitt (1960)
“...design with a nearsightedness that results in
websites and applications that please ourselves and
impress our peers but don’t meet user and business
- Rian van der Merwe
We embed biases in products toward our
imagined outcomes. This makes us more
likely to forget about, or at least minimize,
the possibility of other outcomes.
Architectural Myopia Components
1. Users & Architects don’t see the world the same
2. The roots of training.
3. Justifying their own cognitive dissonance
By failing to consider the people outside of
our own set of experiences, we ignore active
users with the potential to expand our
product use cases.
Let’s get real for a second.
You deposit a check. Your account is
flagged. You find out when you attempt to
withdraw cash, because the customer was
What’s the process for turning the lights
back on when a customer forget to pay the
We believe we know our audiences.
Canvass a set of workers at your local DMV,
welfare office, retail outlet or airport.
CX people can give you a snapshot of their
customers from a front-line perspective.
Perspective influences the goal line
What can you do?
Take calculated risks.
Ask better questions earlier.
Highlight the constraints
Focus on team composition.
Decide your stance.
“...the attitude the product takes, the
personality it has.” - Jon Kolko
Communicate the value of design & content
through frameworks, tools & metrics that
resonate with your stakeholders.
Test your own assumptions.
Realize that most people don’t
want to love your product. They
want it to work for them.