UX Rule #1: Everything is Possible

Software systems work with data. I believe great system should obey the one simple rule

#1. Every possible operation with data does exist

The knowledge of possibility is a really powerful thing. I want to create a software system that has almost no restrictions in a given domain. You should be able to extract any data, present data and change any data.

Let’s imagine you are using an email client. Suddenly, you want to group all incoming messages by sender. You should be able to do that. Or you want to find all emails for October, create October folder and move the emails into this folder. That should be possible as well.

Every software system has a domain model behind and a set of rules. As a minimum, system should provide all kind of operations on this model: change properties, change relations, create entities, etc. Unfortunately, almost all existing systems are restrictive. 

If you know that operation is possible, you’ll find it. This knowledge gives you a confidence. The operation can be quite advance and well hidden, but still it is much to know that it does exist than dealing with illogical restrictions. Why the hell I can move a user story into a project, but can’t change it’s owner? Why I can change features in batch, but can’t do that with tasks? 

If the rule #1 is applied, you are giving many great things to the end users:

  • Confidence
  • UI consistency
  • Power

Pretty cool it seems…

GTD vs GTR

Many people know about GTD — Gettings Things Done. While this concept may work for someone, it focuses on a goal completion, which is not good. Why is that? It can stimulate you to complete the goal faster, thus focusing you on speed. However, speed is not the best focus. Much better to focus on the process and quality. 

If you enjoy the process, you will have speed for free. You will not put any extra-effort and think “I should work faster”, “I should complete these 3 tasks today!”. You will relax and have fun, creating something great.

The goal to write an article every week is bad. The goal to spend one hour on writing every day and enjoy it is better. 

I’d replace GTD concept with GTR — Gettings Things Right.