The Best Interface Is No Interface

Golden Krishna, at Cooper writes:> As Donald Norman said in 1990, “The real problem with the interface is that it is an interface. Interfaces get in the way. I don’t want to focus my energies on an interface. I want to focus on the job…I don’t want to think of myself as using a computer, I want to think of myself as doing my job.”

It’s time for us to move beyond screen-based thinking. Because when we think in screens, we design based upon a model that is inherently unnatural, inhumane, and has diminishing returns. It requires a great deal of talent, money and time to make these systems somewhat usable, and after all that effort, the software can sadly, only truly improve with a major overhaul. The entire article is an excellent look at typical pedestrian interfaces that are seen these days versus interfaces that take great pains to anticipate the normal user behavior of a task and tries to solve it in the same way using a well designed interface.

Time and Taste

Marco Arment, at writes:

Improving poor taste in upper leadership is almost as difficult as treating severe paranoia: people who don’t value taste and design will rarely recognize these shortcomings or seek to improve them. With very few exceptions, companies that put out tasteless, poorly designed products will usually never change course. Anyone who wants to compete well against Apple is going to need good taste at the top and deep-rooted design values throughout the company.

Chris Prillo's Dad Compares Windows 8 to OS X

Chris Prillo, incensed that Microsoft's design for Windows 8 is hostile to new or novice users, tries to prove a point by videoing this father trying to use Windows 8 for the first time. Prior to this, he had only used Windows XP. A day later, he videoed this father doing the same, but for OS X. His dad is an iPhone and iPad user, but had never used an actual Mac. Watch:

Is Google Plus's Problem One of Design?

Nick Bilton, at The New York Times' Bits blog:

We skitter around the world with our smartphone cameras, taking pictures of leaves and sugar cubes and sunsets, then applying filters and making even the mundane look beautiful. Clearly, design is becoming increasingly more relevant to people. Google Plus doesn’t seem to understand that. Google’s iPhone app, for example, looks like a sketch that was never finished. And if you think the iPhone isn’t important for a good social network, just ask Instagram, an iPhone-only photo app that has more than 27 million users. That’s a quarter of Google Plus’s users, and Instagram didn’t need the Google homepage to get there.

Google Reader Redesign: Terrible Decision or Worst Decision?

Brian Shih, former Project Manager of Google Reader who left google back in July 11:

It's almost as if Google wants to demonstrate that, yes, they don't really get platforms. Instead of improving the G+ API to support Reader as a fully functional 3rd party client (a la Twitter), they've instead crippled the product under the guise of improvements.

Android Phones: Before and After the iPhone

I must have missed this when it was linked to a month or so ago on the tech blogs but the images were so compelling I felt the need to post. Andrew Warner posted a before and after shot of Android phones prior to 2007, before the first iPhone, and after 2007, once Apple's design was public. The difference is night and day.