I was listening to some items in my Huffduffer feed when I noticed a little bit of synchronicity.

First of all, I was listening to Tom talking about Thington, and he mentioned seamful design—the idea that “seamlessness” is not necessarily a desirable quality. I think that’s certainly true in the world of connected devices.

Then I listened to Jeff interviewing Matt about hardware startups. They didn’t mention seamful design specifically (it was more all cricket and cables), but again, I think it’s a topic that’s lurking behind any discussion of the internet of things.

I’ve written about seams before. I really feel there’s value—and empowerment—in exposing the points of connection in a system. When designers attempt to airbrush those seams away, I worry that they are moving from “Don’t make me think” to “Don’t allow me to think”.

In many ways, aiming for seamlessness in design feels like the easy way out. It’s a surface-level approach that literally glosses over any deeper problems. I think it might be driven my an underlying assumption that seams are, by definition, ugly. Certainly there are plenty of daily experiences where the seams are noticeable and frustrating. But I don’t think it needs to be this way. The real design challenge is to make those seams beautiful.

Have you published a response to this? :



# Liked by 大漠 on Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 at 12:06pm

# Liked by Charles Stanhope on Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 at 8:46pm

Previously on this day

6 years ago I wrote An Event Alarm

Banal Inception.

8 years ago I wrote The Lost Lemonworld

Is it not strange that sheep’s guts should hale souls out of men’s bodies?

9 years ago I wrote Facing the future

Our civilisation needs to hit Ctrl+S.

10 years ago I wrote Cryptypography

Ligatures from beyond the grave.

15 years ago I wrote Dear Auntie Beeb

In the article “Real ‘frees’ Apple’s iPod player”, the following paragraph appears:

16 years ago I wrote Blog Change Bot

I’m trying out a new service called

17 years ago I wrote clagnut

I got a nice email from Richard Rutter who has a great blog called Clagnut.

17 years ago I wrote Behind the Typeface: Cooper Black

Here’s a real labour of love. Informative and funny, it’s a look at the history of one typeface: Cooper Black.

17 years ago I wrote NetNewsWire Lite

If you’re using OS X on a Mac, you should check out this great new application from Ranchero.