Monday, November 25, 2002

Invisibility in Design

Read an interesting article today in the Wall Street Journal about the new designs for the interior of airplanes. One of the designers said that he knows if he's done his job well when the passenger can't remember anything about the inside of the cabin once he leaves the plane. It was a startling claim, but the more I think about it, the more "invisibilty" is a real factor in design, especially interaction design. The less there is visible of something, the easier it is to use.

Steve Krug's (in)famous "Don't Make Me Think!" applies here. You don't want (non-designer) users to think about your designs, you only want them to experience them and do what they need to do. The more things there are, the more users have to figure out how to use them. Even on Amazon, which throws a lot at you, the checkout process (the ID part of the user experience) is pretty bare bones. Even the navigation is removed.

Making something pleasurable isn't always about making it noticeable. Which is not to say keep everything hidden, only be selective in what (and how things) are displayed.

Posted at 05:15 PM | comments (0) | trackback (0)


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