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.

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Friday, November 22, 2002

Building the World's Tallest Building

Are they INSANE??? Why not just paint a giant target on lower Manhattan?

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Monday, November 18, 2002

Why it still sucks to be born between 1960-1980

Fortune just came out with a neo-Gen X story, Generation Wrecked. As if we needed more bad news these days.

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Thursday, November 14, 2002

IA Conference

I should also report that I went to an advanced information architecture seminar last week, led by Lou Rosenfeld and Margaret Hanley (although Lou is identified on the handout sleeve as Lois Resenfeld (LOL)). And while it was interesting to learn about metadata, controlled vocabularies, synonym rings, etc., I'm glad my interests and current job lie much more on the interactive design side of things. But it was nice to be in a group of people all talking about IA related things that I seldom get to expound upon except to Sean.

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Just so I am not

Just so I am not totally off-balance, I will give props to Bush for doing something right.

Posted at 01:56 PM | comments (0) | trackback (0) | link


Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Get out your bibles, guns,

Get out your bibles, guns, and cash. Get ready for war and crazy, unnecessary tax cuts for the wealthy. Get ready for more recessions, conservative supreme court justices, and rollbacks on environmental protections. It's all bad.

Posted at 10:25 AM | comments (0) | trackback (0) | link


Tuesday, November 5, 2002

I spent all yesterday hanging

I spent all yesterday hanging out with Jakob Nielsen and his crew, rappin' bout Flash useability. Met some interesting folks who had come from all over to attend--a bit surprising, but I guess Jakob is a draw (as is a company-sponsored week in New York City, I'm guessing). Much of it is common design sense ("Make links look like links" etc.) but it is nice to have the data to refer to and to have these things drummed into my head again.

Posted at 03:31 PM | comments (0) | trackback (0) | link


My latest article for Boxes

My latest article for Boxes and Arrows came out today. w00t!

Posted at 03:27 PM | comments (0) | trackback (0) | link


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