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Traditional Affordance as a Vestige

I liked Matt Gemmell’s take on iOS 7. The point that lingered with me was his take on traditional cues for affordance, suggesting they’re a design vestige:

In the field of user experience, there’s a huge and unhelpful overemphasis on similarity, familiarity, and the ability to formally reason about interfaces. People are more nuanced. We respond based not only on experience or reason, but also on emotion and intuition.

Too many interfaces run immediately to the well-worn toolbox of simulation and explicitness, imposing a cognitive straitjacket not only on the user, but also the designer. We too easily forget that the only thing that matters to people are their goals: their own tasks, and content. With limited attention, we want to devote our focus to what’s important, rather than distractions and artifice masquerading as design traditions.

I can’t say I fully agree. If affordance were a color, I’d saturate everything with it.

Jun 15 2013

You are solving the wrong problem

When you are solving a difficult problem re-ask the problem so that your solution helps you learn faster. Find a faster way to fail, recover, and try again. If the problem you are trying to solve involves creating a magnum opus, you are solving the wrong problem.

Aza Raskin

May 27 2011

Product Design at Quora

A condensed description of Quora’s design approach.

For Quora, [design] means designing for whys (the product) and taking the most straightforward route possible for the hows (the interactions).

The hows are then driven by the answers to the whys—after all, why a user must enter a flow dictates how they progress through it.

Feb 25 2011

Understanding the Kano Model

The Kano model is a theory of product development that has a great way to describe user’s reaction to product features as well as help prioritize feature development. Of course, it is neatly flattened and visualized with two axes. I’ll take the upper right quadrant, thanks.

Jan 25 2011

CSS Box-Shadow:Inset

I have been leaning towards more textured interfaces. Although I’ve never really liked inner shadows, the examples here suggest a quick experiment with some CSS wouldn’t hurt.

Dec 11 2010

Posts tagged as Design

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