Clay Shirky on arrogance and humility in design:

MySpace demonstrates that users prize participation, even at the expense of clarity.    

I couldn’t agree more about the lack of clarity part; MySpace is just a terrible user experience. But I think it’s just popularity that encourages people to use MySpace; it’s a case of ‘everyone else is doing it so I’d better do it too’. Sure, the participation and social networking are important but if the interface is bad, and there’s a better alternative, people are going to take that alternative. I know a lot of people who’ve left MySpace for Facebook because Facebook is more pleasant to use.   

Update: Clay says that ‘design is arrogance. The designer says, I know what you want better than you. Here it is.’. I think a better word is insight: insight and confidence.

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