Designing the User Experience was a one day master class I recently taught to a group of startups.
technology & design — #
I won’t mince words: ProGlide FlexBall is a bad idea. A really bad idea. In fact, the razor represents everything terrible about America’s innovation economy.
I believe that designers took issue with the so-called “skeuomorphic” stylings because they appeared to lack significant thought, and perhaps, even felt hollow. What many designers have overlooked is the fact that the same thing can be said of so-called “flat design”. It’s all about the implementation. If the navigation or layout of an interface is poorly assembled, solid colors and primitive shapes won’t help you.
Affordances are the baby to skeuomorphism’s bathwater. When they engage our instincts just right, they create an emotional bond, and the unfamiliar becomes inviting. Without them, it’s just pictures under glass. It makes no difference how flat, how deep, how minimal, or how ornate the look-and-feel is if it can’t show us, when we look, how to feel.
Neven Mrgan says Jony Ive’s icon grid is ‘wrong’ and it’s hard not to agree with him.
design & technology — #
I’d probably start with aesthetics, because it’d be the thing I could see, and then hope it would eventually lead me somewhere deeper. As I look at the iconographic choices, color palette, and typography, there’s a tendency to overindulge in very visible ways (such as the bright, almost garish colors and the use of transparency and blurring) and undervalue more subtle ways of establishing graphic tone (such as the use Helvetica as the primary typeface instead of something with more character and better suited for interfaces). Basically, there’s not much nuance there, but there’s not much room for subtlety when one has to give the impression of stark newness. Maybe this lack of nuance also comes from Ive’s lack of familiarity with interface design? Usually expressive visual choices like these seem good in isolation, then become overbearing when viewed together. Experience gives a person the eyes to imagine their small choices in aggregate.
There’s no way you can give a good talk unless you have something worth talking about.
This is a cool idea: Australia’s Water Curtain Stop Signs Are A Great Idea
Evan’s Awesome A/B Tools offer an elegant way to calculate the sample size you will need to determine if an effect is significant and to test that significance when you have data.