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Cataloging the art and science of user experience design
history
Dawn of mankind.

Title: The irreverent (and slightly bloody) history of UX design Context: The user experience of human development could use some process refinements. Synopsis: Humanity is a product. Leaving aside the divine nature of the “intelligent designer” argument (after all, would

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Xerox Star 6085 desktop icons (c. 1985)

Title: History Of Icons Context: Iconography: 40 years later and we’re right back where we started. Synopsis: Of all the GUI’s contributions to the canon of design, none is so significant, and fraught with passionate debate as the lowly icon.

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USB icon schematic

Title: 5 Confusing Icons and Their History Context: The meaning behind an icon is very often in the eye of the beholder. Synopsis: Designers of all stripes have a love/hate relationship with iconography. A good, clear icon communicates succinctly, saves

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Title: 1995 video shows the struggle was real for first-time PC users Context: It’s all fun and games until the user throws their new computer out the window. Best Bit: “And interestingly enough, at software giant Microsoft Corporation, users were

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The ubiquitous hamburger icon is as familiar as it is mysterious…until now! 
Best Bit: “Interesting inside joke… we used to tell potential users that the image was an “air vent” to keep the window cool. It usually got a chuckle,

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The daily routine of some of history’s most creative thinkers. The common thread? They all slept, they all ate, they all worked. via fastcocreate.com

Title: Redesigning the Save symbol. Let’s do this. Context: Culture. History. Symbolism. Metaphor. Psychology. It’s like a dang Dostoyevsky novel. Synopsis: When was the last time you used a floppy disk? Probably just a few minutes ago. Really. Go check

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Title: The Six Greatest Breakthroughs in UX History Context: We user experience professionals stand on the shoulders of UX giants. Synopsis: Gauguin once asked “Whence Come We? What Are We? Whither Go We?” Not sure what that has to do

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Title: Beyond the Surface: 15 Years of Desktop Aesthetics Context: Don’t judge a man by his computer desktop…On second thought, maybe you should… Synopsis: Look at your computer desktop. No. Really look at it. Does it still have the OEM

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Title: UX and UI, Chicken and Egg Context: Wait for the next installment, when we discover that the reason the chicken crossed the road was to refactor its UI. Synopsis: While this short video includes some questionable Latin translations it

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Title: Understanding Our Interaction Design History Context: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. And yes that includes you too UX designers. Synopsis: In the grand scheme of things (digital) user experience design is a mere

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Historical Technology: Machines of Times Gone By. Photography collection of old machines from The Museum of the City of New York. Lovely stuff. via whitneyhess.com

Paul Baran working for ARPA came up with this in 1971. That’s pretty damned impressive. via iftf.org

Title: Atoms + Bits = the neue Craft, A lecture by John Maeda Context: A whistle-stop tour of the history of art and design within digital media and what it means for our collective future curated by one of the

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