RSS feed

Cataloging the art and science of user experience design
complexity
Traffic jam participation

Title: Design as Participation Context: Who should we be designing for? Nothing like a dense academic treatise to answer an otherwise straightforward question. Synopsis: Designers design for users. This is dogma. Fact. Law even. That’s basically our job description. Users

Read more

System failure

Title: The Edges Context: It’s all fun and games until your user experience runs into someone else’s user experience. Synopsis: You spend months crafting your product’s user experience. You consider every detail. Sweat over each pixel. Obsess over all of

Read more

Oh, of course. Now I see.

Title: The Obvious, the Easy, and the Possible Context: It’s not a question of minimizing complexity, it’s rather about optimizing obviousity [sic]. Synopsis: They never said it would be easy. In this case, “they” are most likely “us” (if “us”

Read more

User stories

Title: How to produce better designs for complex apps Context: User stories: the cause of — and solution to — all of your software’s problems. Synopsis: Ernest Hemingway famously said about writing stories: “Write drunk, edit sober.” Unfortunately when it

Read more

Bloomberg Financial Terminal UI

Title: Well-designed interfaces look boring Context: Shiny new things are sometimes better dull. Synopsis: Ah, the future. It’s going to be great. Touchscreen, holographic, virtual reality user interfaces everywhere we will look, controlling everything we will do, ubiquitous everywhere we

Read more

Bose Quiet Comfort Headphones

Title: Bose Headphones and the Internet of Broken Things Context: All things must come to an end. But does the end really have to come so damn quickly? Synopsis: As technology rapidly replaces the mechanical in our increasingly noisy lives,

Read more

Customized remote controls

How many remote control buttons would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck was sick of all the buttons he never used getting in his way all the time? via twitter.com

Title: Washing Machine for Men Context: I’m sure we’ve all tried to do laundry in a washing machine we’ve never seen before, but how many of us have been successful? Synopsis: No one knows what “Eco Perfect” means. Those meaningless

Read more

Title: The No UI debate is rubbish Context: Context is king. Synopsis: I forget where the user experience zeitgeist is at this week. Are we against all forms of UI controls now or is it back to the tried and

Read more

rotting pumpkinImage credit: Tom Woodward, "rotting pumpkin", October 26, 2008, Flickr

Title: Experience Rot Context: Feature creep = User experience rot Synopsis: The high point – user experience wise – of any software is its first release. This will be the simplest, most economical, singular realization of the product vision that

Read more

Title: The Next Big UI Idea: Gadgets That Adapt To Your Skill Context: Using UI adaptability to appeal to both power users and novices without alienating either. Synopsis: Every new feature adds complexity. Only a fraction of your users will

Read more

This isn’t a light switch. This is a voodoo curse against being able to switch your light on or off. via twitter.com

Title: Cognitive Overhead, Or Why Your Product Isn’t As Simple As You Think Context: Making software is hard. Using software better not be. Synopsis: 8 billion features later you don’t have a piece of user-friendly software, you have a usability

Read more

Image credit: Tamara Evans, "Alien spaceship", April 13, 2012, Flickr

Title: Akin’s Laws of Spacecraft Design Context: You may not be designing a spaceship, but it probably often feels like you are designing something just as complex. Synopsis: Imagine the hardest thing in the world to design. OK. Got it?

Read more

Title: Science for Designers: The Meaning of Complexity Context: Design is surely an art. But it’s also a science. Did I just blow your mind? Synopsis: [WARNING: THE LINKED ARTICLE CONTAINS HIGHBROW CRITICAL ARCHITECTURAL PROSE. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.]

Read more