Jordan Brock

Smallest possible expenditure of intelligence

Intellectual Bargain Shopping, by Jeffrey Veen

bq. To predict the behavior of ordinary people in advance, you only have to assume that they will always try to escape a disagreeable situation with the smallest possible expenditure of intelligence. – Friedrich Nietzsche

Still, to this day, I am presented with the tired old argument that “users are stupid” – that the hubris of developers and designers somehow trumps investment in usable products. I love how this quote turns the tables. Users aren’t stupid, they’re efficient. They’re spending the least amount of effort (i.e. intelligence) as they possible can on each step of the goal they’re trying to achieve. If you make them spend more, they’ll go somewhere else – it’s like intellectual bargain shopping.