Coding Horror

programming and human factors

Users Don't Care About You

Seth Godin showed this slide during a recent presentation at Google:

Users don't care about YOU.

What's the biggest web design mistake of 2004?

1. Believing people care about you and your web site.

Why isn't anyone reading our blog?

1. You're not a good-looking female who likes posting naked pictures of herself.
2. There's nothing in it for them.

This is not to say that users don't care:

The main point: users don't care about you as much as they care about themselves.

Users just aren't that into you. It's not personal. It's business. Unless what you're writing …

  • solves their problem
  • provides useful information
  • entertains them
  • makes them feel like they rule

… it's irrational to expect users to care about it.

Every time you create something – whether it's a website, a client app, a blog post, a powerpoint presentation, or an email – ask yourself, "so what?" If you can't answer that question convincingly, reformulate and try again.

Written by Jeff Atwood

Indoor enthusiast. Co-founder of Stack Exchange and Discourse. Disclaimer: I have no idea what I'm talking about. Find me here: http://twitter.com/codinghorror