Department of Design
Curated by Timoni West.
Primarily focused on product design, technology, cognitive psychology, and the brain. Also—pretty pictures, sometimes moving.
Jeremy Keith, Seams
I’m doing some research into art/drawing/design app interfaces and want to see how everybody else sets up Tools in Photoshop, Menus in Illustrator, sidebars in Omnigraffle, top bars in Keynote, and so on. You can reply to this post, @-reply my on Twitter (@timoni) or shoot me an email: email@example.com. Thanks, everybody!
Product design. This is my definition, at least. The term is being used to describe any interface designer who happens to work on a product, which is unfortunate, but I’ll keep using this one.
But why us? Why should designers be in these roles? Well, one immediate answer is simply that I would like to be in control over the future I’m building. Right now, many of us can only change our answer to Wilson’s questions by just quitting and finding a new job where we’re bought into the vision.
But deeper, I think this is something designers can be really great at. We already understand how to induce utility, delight, motivation at the level of the interface. Expanding that toolset to apply to the bigger picture is not a huge leap.
This is a way of thinking about design that’s growing in popularity, but I recognize that it’s still a minority, maybe even an extreme minority. Nonetheless, I remain optimistic. When I look at the major shifts in our field over the past years — user-centered design, standards-based design, responsive design — years of advocacy have led to genuine, sustained progress. I’m confident we’ll get there.
David Cole, on Product Designers, via (86) Applied Discovery: Presentation from Build 2013 - Emesis - Quora
If I were given carte blanche to write about any topic I could, it would be about how much our ignorance, in general, shapes our lives in ways we do not know about. Put simply, people tend to do what they know and fail to do that which they have no conception of. In that way, ignorance profoundly channels the course we take in life. And unknown unknowns constitute a grand swath of everybody’s field of ignorance.
To me, unknown unknowns enter at two different levels. The first is at the level of risk and problem. Many tasks in life contain uncertainties that are known — so-called “known unknowns.” These are potential problems for any venture, but they at least are problems that people can be vigilant about, prepare for, take insurance on, and often head off at the pass. Unknown unknown risks, on the other hand, are problems that people do not know they are vulnerable to.
Unknown unknowns also exist at the level of solutions. People often come up with answers to problems that are o.k., but are not the best solutions. The reason they don’t come up with those solutions is that they are simply not aware of them.
David Dunning speaking to Errol Morris in The Anosognosic’s Dilemma: Something’s Wrong but You’ll Never Know What It Is (Part 1) - NYTimes.com
Want to make people run? Don’t give them a badge for running. Give them a ball and shove four sticks in the ground. They’ll run around the field chasing the ball (and each other) for ages. The experience is intrinsically challenging and amusing, and the running is a by-product. Games rely on dynamics like these and rules to generate the conditions for positive engagement.
…The badges in and of themselves are meaningless. They’re only of value in the context of an activity that is intrinsically rewarding enough to make people want to participate in it. When an activity is designed well enough to be intrinsically rewarding, you can start assigning extra rewards like badges. These rewards gain endogenous value – a value that truly exists only within the context of the game.
The Silent Partner, a really wonderful interview about Jason Goldman, product manager at Twitter, and cofounder of Obvious Corp.
…I’ve had a bit of trouble wrapping my head around what it is a UX Designer actually does for some time now, and I keep coming back to the same conclusion; a User Experience Designer doesn’t do anything special. They’re just a designer.
…A great designer should have a solid understanding of the psychological effects of their designs on top of all the typographic, colour, and layout techniques they use on a daily basis. Each decision in those categories will have an effect on the overall user experience, and we should be conscious of those effects. User experience is not something that should be considered separately from any design processes, let alone given a separate job description or department. User experience design is just design. Whether you’re designing a static mockup for a website, or considering the psychological effect of a particular user flow, you’re designing.