Assume That Users Are Smarter

Edward Tufte:

Several of the critiques began with a user model that described users as superficial, impatient, and inefficient managers of information. What users are impatient about is low-content throughput and space-hogging admin debris, commercials, and lousy interface design. Several critiques relied on a concealed version of the irrelevant Magical Number +/-7 notion.

Well, I don’t do Lowest Common Denominator Design.

Lowest Common Denominator Design is a sure road to dumbed-down, content-deprived, interfaces that feature themselves. LCDD is based, at its heart, on contempt for users and for content.

Instead, assume that users are smarter about the content at hand than interface designers. Such is often empirically the case; thus the best that design usually can do is to get out of the way and at least do no harm. More can be expected only at the very highest level, such as Apple.