Set the bar lower

The illustration shows a character pole-vaulting over a short bar. Let's distill down to the bare minimum of what the user actually needs to do. Like the saying in fashion goes, keep removing things until there's nothing else that can be removed.

Simplify your task

The illustration shows a character painting a canvas which has sequentially-numbered rectangles, standing next to numbered paint cans. The character made a plan for their work that's now easy to remember and easy to complete. How can we create a structured canvas that tells the user exactly what they need to do at each step?

Take twice as long

The illustration shows the character biking along a straight line using an indirect route. When we use our apps & devices and so on we know that we're in the middle of 10 other things and we want to do things in the way that makes sense to us in the moment, without artificial restriction. Give the user as much freedom as we can to go at their own pace and in their own order.

Neglect the unimportant

The illustration shows a character typing on a typewriter on a porch amidst an overgrown lawn. The user will neglect anything they don't consider important, so if we can anticipate what that is accurately, we can make the interface cleaner and easier to use. We can anticipate that by doing user research before wasting a lot of money building interfaces no one wants to use.

Kill "Until"

The illustration shows a character pushing the word "UNTIL" off a cliff. The user wants to do what they want to do NOW. If they can't do it now, explain what they need to do first, and help them get it done.

Get rid of secret rules

The illustration shows a character in a race who is behind the other runners because he is stepping carefully across lines in the pavement. Users want to run free, not solve logic puzzles, make guesses, or ping their coworkers with questions. There should be no "secret rules" to fulfilling their tasks.

Have twice as much fun

The illustration shows one character boxing with a punching bag and another character boxing with a piñata. Depending on the context, it might not be appropriate to make the tasks feel too "gamey" and unserious. But I see this one as being about taking things out of the abstract where possible and making them feel real and consequential.

Trade perfect for done

The illustration shows the character walking away from a burning oven with a tall cake. The user is the chef, the cake is what our product is supposed to do, and the oven is the interface. If the user manages to get their cake done, the state of the oven is our business. If it's on fire, that should not be the user's problem.