Thursday, June 26, 2008

What is an ugly interaction?

What makes an interaction design ugly? ...

"Today at work while working through a design during a scoping & requirements definition session with my internal stake holders, I found myself challenging my team because I felt the popular suggestion in the room (can’t really talk about the design by committee situation I ended up in) was leading towards what I could only describe as an “ugly interaction”.

I know when I come back to the office tomorrow morning, I’m going to be pressed to do a better job of expressing why I feel this way and what it means to be an “ugly interaction”.

What is sorta interesting about all this is that it is right on the tail of my discovery of a recent Jonas Löwgren piece on issues that effect the aesthetics of interaction design. So the concept of beauty of interactions was sorta on my mind today anyway. I’ve also been arguing heavily on the IxDA.org discussion list (check the web site here) around what it takes to be an IxD and why UCD standard practices aren’t really all that helpful or revolutionary from the position of standard design theory. So designerly thinking was also on my mind.

So what was it that was so darn ugly and what made it ugly. In this case, I’m pretty sure that it was the use of exception messaging when they really weren’t necessary. Creating a dead-end for an end-user when it REALLY isn’t necessary or even through an inelegant method throwing a human being into an unexpected and possibly undesirable flow or context to me is … well … ugly and in this case, even FUGLY. (Let’s just say its a not nice way of saying VERY ugly.)"    (Continued via Synaptic Burn)    [Usability Resources]

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