We can’t control systems or figure them out. But we can dance with them!
- Get the beat.
- Listen to the wisdom of the system.
- Expose your mental models to the open air.
- Stay humble. Stay a learner.
- Honor and protect information.
- Locate responsibility in the system.
- Make feedback policies for feedback systems.
- Pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable.
- Go for the good of the whole.
- Expand time horizons.
- Expand thought horizons.
- Expand the boundary of caring.
- Celebrate complexity.
- Hold fast to the goal of goodness.
Flat, minimalist, clean, material - whatever you want to call it - is an annoying antipattern. Computers are here to make life easier for humans. Removing affordances is just a nasty thing to do to your users.
The evolution of affordances on the web:
The URL for a page goes at the top. Text appears in a vertically scrolling column. A dropdown menu has a downward-pointing triangle next to it. Your mouse cursor is a slanted triangle with a tail, and when you hover over a link it looks like Mickey Mouse’s glove.
Most of these affordances don’t have any relationship to the physical characteristics of the interaction they mediate. But remove them from a website, application, or interface, and users get disoriented, frustrated, and unproductive.
Six UX lessons from game design:
- Story vs Narrative (Think in terms of story arcs)
- Games are fractal (Break up the journey from big to small to tiny)
- Learning loop (figure out your core mechanic)
- Affordances (Prompt for known loops)
- Hintiness (Move to new loops)
- Pacing (Be sure to start here)
Bringing gradients back, baby!
This is going to be a handy reference to keep on hand whenever you want a button to actually look like a button.
Some good tips on public speaking from Dan.
Add your moonwalk to the collection.
Here's Dan's latest project (and of course it looks gorgeous). I've been testing it for a while before the official launch and it's really sweet. Best of all, there is no sign up. All the interaction happens through Twitter. Clever.
I can only see the dancer going clockwise. Jessica saw anti-clockwise at first but was then able to change direction. I can't do that.
A nice overview of avoiding clutter in web design. It's not just about whitespace; the number of edges and gradients can also add up to an undifferentiated design.
This looks crazy! Everyone is dancing to the beat of a different drum... I mean, iPod.
Dan has redesigned. Or maybe that should be realigned. Either way, it feels just perfect. Talented bastard.
Based on this sneak peak, it sounds like that Dead Can Dance disc I ordered is going to be very good indeed.