This double-edged sword.
In a perfect world:
The product should have a voice. One of an angel: beautiful and clear.
The product should not piss anyone off. Everyone will become our user, thus we should not piss anyone off.
These two things manifest all products, but especially big, meaningful, complex products. There is demand to have a voice. There is demand to make everything as usable as possible for everyone.
But the reality is, a great product is always growing, changing in big and subtle ways. As a great product grows, so does its voice. Voice check please! And as it grows, so does its user base, and the chance you’ll piss off someone is exponentially higher. You just can’t please them all.
That’s why we have designers.
Designers are in charge of nurturing both a product’s voice and bottom-line usability.
Don’t be afraid to tune that voice, take some risks, & piss off a few people.
No one gets it completely right the first time. That’s why we keep throwing ourselves against the brick wall and trying.
These are my favorite bits from mhci sketching I never posted! Container hands & red ballpoint sketchery. They will be in the new portfolio, but rediscovering nice things is.. nice!