Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Tension Between Consistency & Content

Interesting considerations for when design principles are conflicting..

"In my work across various product domains, I’ve observed several recurring points of tension present within the interface design process. In addition to clashes between information density vs. visual simplicity and user friendly vs. user empowerment there is often an underlying tension between design and development consistency and the unique nature of content. Hopefully I can explain with a few recent examples.

On a large ecommerce site design project, there was a continual tension between a consistent user experience across all product categories and the need to optimize for specific category experiences. For example, did the diamonds category need a unique set of purchase guarantees and search filters? Conversely, would these unique finding and buying experiences negatively impact cross-category shopping? The tension was between maintaining a consistent shopping experience that enabled users to easily transition between categories vs. unique interface designs optimized for each category’s specific needs."   (Continued via LukeW)               [Usability Resources]

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