When you’re overthinking your UX — Satisficing vs Maximizing

Photo by José Alejandro Cuffia on Unsplash

UX is about the details. The difference between good and bad UX, after all, often boils down to how thoughtful and accommodating your design is. It’s about the things that people don’t notice more often than the things that they do notice.

So it’s no surprise that it’s so easy for UX designers to get caught up in the nitty gritty and forget about the bigger picture. We tend to fuss over the position of elements, tiny design decisions and the right order of things.And that’s great.

Until it isn’t.

It’s great for as long as you can ship a product or an update as and when required. And it’s not so great when you’re still debating the location of an icon when your product needs to launch in 2 days.

Which is where the argument of Satisficing vs Maximizing comes to play.

Satisficing is the search for adequate results as opposed to optimal results. What this means is that a satisficer will settle for a solution that fits the a general list of requirements. This does not mean that they settle for mediocrity. Their standards or requirements may be high but once these criteria are met, they’ll settle.

Maximizers on the other hand, are people who strive to make the most out of every decision. They never settle. They’re always on the hunt for the perfect solution.

Which means that maximisers may never quite get around to launching a product or uploading a project on their websites — they’re still fixated on something that quite frankly doesn’t matter.

They’re trying so hard to find the ‘perfect’ solution. And what they so often forget is that perfection is just a fallacy. Nothing is ever quite perfect. And striving for perfection is often a waste of time.

It’s like that quote — Perfect is the enemy of good.

Maybe what we should strive for instead is good enough. Anything that works well should be shipped. And all that time you may have otherwise spent working on fixing an icon could be used on testing. Or more research. Or literally anything else that can have a larger impact on the product itself.

When you’re overthinking your UX — Satisficing vs Maximizing was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Read at UX Planet


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