When is it too simple?

July 11, 2007 at 9:39 am

Too Simple?

Yesterday I got to hear John Maeda speak at Sabre as part of the Wundermind series of speakers. I’ve read John’s book (The Laws of Simplicity), and really enjoyed it. He gave a great presentation – it’s rare to hear someone who really gets both technology and design (and he’s met Paul Rand!).

So when is simple, too simple? A great quote near the beginning of John’s book reads: “Imagine a world in which software companies simplified their programs every year by shipping with 10% fewer features at 10% higher cost due to the expense of simplification.” Maeda uses the iPod as an example of a product that has succeeded with this model. I also see this in the iPhone. As a new iPhone owner, I’ve been able to discover some great ways Apple’s removed features, without diminishing the experience, and simplified the iPhone UI.

Interactions for the mobile experience

June 14, 2007 at 10:30 am

Mobile Interactions

When creating an online desktop experience, as Designers we want to choose the most interactive medium possible – then weigh that with the audience we’re designing for and make a decision. XHTML/AJAX? Adobe AIR? MS Silverlight? With each of these options we can create a highly interactive experience, with real-time interactions, large graphics, sound, and even 3D in some cases. And it’s something we’ve grown accustom to with better computers, better browsers, and more bandwidth.

But when Designing for mobile, we’re kind of partying like it’s 1999. With browser fragmentation, low speeds, and low adoption of mobile data – what interactions should you be designing for mobile devices?

Who feeds an experience?

April 6, 2007 at 3:11 pm

Who feeds an experience?

Awhile back I posted my “Universe of User Experience“, where I wanted to show all the pieces that needed to come together to create a great experience. This was very helpful in educating people on what User Experience was and why all the pieces were necessary. But this did not address the issue of explaining the roles of the people doing this work… So, who feeds these experiences?

SXSW Interactive Brain-dump

March 14, 2007 at 1:52 pm

SXSW Brain Dump

SXSWi has come and gone again, this was my fourth time to attend and it just keeps getting bigger every year. When I first visited in 2003 (or was it 2002?) Bruce Sterling was still throwing SXSWi parties at his home and FROG Design hosted everyone in their office, unfortunately that doesn’t really scale to the size of the conference today. But, the panels were as diverse and interesting as ever – and I came back with the following brain-dump:

Look for me in Austin (SXSWi)

March 8, 2007 at 3:30 pm

Say Hello!

Are you going to Austin this weekend for SXSWi? Or maybe you’re heading for Austin to attend the new Apple Store opening? Either way, I’ll be around. Visiting all the great independent shops and restaurants Austin has to offer, as well as attending SXSWi for the fourth time. Interested in what panels I’m excited to see? (maybe not so much?) – but here it is anyways, my SXSWi list of panels:

It’s 2007 what is your browser baseline?

February 23, 2007 at 11:18 am

It's 2007 what is your browser baseline?

Recently a developer was going over the browser baselines for a project, they listed them as: IE 6.0, Mozilla 1.5, Netscape 8.0, Opera 9.02 and Safari 1.2. I saw this and thought WAH? Mozilla and Netscape? No IE 7? Safari 1.2? Opera? Let’s take a look and see what should be the baselines for browsers in 2007.

Do you read comics?

February 15, 2007 at 9:30 am

Do you read comics?

Even if you’re not a comic collector and could never pass for “comic book guy” on the Simpsons, that doesn’t mean you don’t read comics. How about how-tos in home improvement books? Instruction manuals for various electronics, or even the calm as a “hindu-cow” passengers showing you how to evacuate an airplane? Comics are a great way to communicate information. And as someone in the business of communicating information, there is a lot to learn from a master of comics like Scott McCloud.

Tug of War (Will Marketing ever get on board?)

December 15, 2006 at 4:57 pm

Tug of War Title

I know we probably don’t need another post describing the chasm between Marketing and Design, but here we go ;-) In recent years I’ve seen Marketing destroy good experiences for political reasons, timelines, advertising, and turf-wars. Of course these are the things that bother us Designers most. We want to produce a great product, something we’re proud of and yes, even something that will help make the company money.

Is it just Mii, or does experience matter?

December 1, 2006 at 10:40 pm

Is it just Mii, or does experience matter?

Yes, I just happened upon a Wii the other day (and by “happened upon” I mean waited in line for 45mins at a Best Buy last Sunday). The verdict? Pretty cool. I’ve been a fan of gaming since my Dad’s Atari – you know the kind that took the 5 1/4 discs (remember those kids?). But what’s different this time, then the other 10+ gaming machines I’m sure I’ve owned over the years – it’s not just about the graphics, it’s about the experience.

Who Moved my Buy Button?

September 21, 2006 at 12:27 pm

Who Moved my Buy Button?

In web design there are a couple things that are for the most part consistent across sites to provide a more uniform experience. Things like most logos tend to be on the top left of a page (as well as link to the homepage) and the search goes somewhere near the top right. Besides browsing the web, something most internet surfers do is shop. It could be clothing, electronics, jewelry, whatever – but this common experience has becomes very inconsistent when it comes time to buy.