Saturday, August 11, 2007

Cupcakes and interaction design

Icing on the interface ...

"Imagine if you were a baker and you made cupcakes. But let's also imagine that you yourself weren't in the habit of eating them. One day one of your customers comes up to you and says, "You know what? These cupcakes taste terrible, they are the worst I've ever had. What are you going to do to make them better?"

If you functioned like a lot of companies these days that was in the search of a quick fix you'd do the following. You'd hire someone to come in and make your cupcakes look beautiful. You'd have an expert, a cupcake designer, come in and create beautiful frosting concoctions with sparkles, candles and pretty boxes and and wrappers and then consider the problem solved.

But it's not solved of course. All we've done is spread icing around on a cupcake, a cupcake that still tastes like crap. So what would we do then? We'll if we're like most companies we would say, "You know, we had this problem with our cupcakes and we hired some designers to help us make it better and we really just wasted even more money. What a waste of time. Design is a waste of time. Next time we're not going to waste any money on it. It's not important."

Often what I've detailed above is all many think design is. An attention to surface or a mechanism to gloss over or hide mistakes. Designers that only deliver this type of service and promise that it will have an impact do the craft of design a disservice. But enterprises that employ design in this fashion--and many that are unfamiliar with design do exactly this--are destined to make the same types of mistakes that are crippling the automotive industry and mobile phone manufacturers and perhaps (ahem) some software companies that have rested on their laurels for too long. Will companies learn from these mistakes or be destined to repeat them?"    (Continued via Design Thinking Digest)    [Usability Resources]

Icing On The  Cake - Usability, User Interface Design

Icing On The Cake

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