While reading Barnard, I notice while he is critiquing Wolfflin and Greenburg’s structuralist approaches, he says;

“Greenburg’s account makes no reference to how the people of sixteenth-century Venice understood ‘flatness’, or even whether they had any idea of ‘flatness’ at all at the time. ‘Flatness is an idea that a mid-twentieth-century art critic uses to understand the visual culture of the past.” (182).

And then later, while citing how Wolfflin and Greenburng never mention gender class or ethnicity;

As far as these writers are concerned, the visual culture that they discuss has been produced and consumed in a world devoid of different classes, genders, and ethnic backgrounds. Ideas like ‘significant form’, ‘plane and recession’, and ‘flatness’, for example, are treated as though their reception or understanding by different groups of people is not a problem.” (182).

This heavily reminded me of why user research is so important to a design. Capturing people expectations and understanding how they think about and understand certain things is a large part of designing something that is a good experience.