Post(s) tagged with "ux"
Basecamp UI Preview
37signals have come up with some very unique although simple user experience patterns that should make using Basecamp easier than ever. Jump into the video at 3 minutes to see a demonstration of how they are allowing for you to easily navigate into a project.
Clever sort of ‘stack’ UX, where content in basecamp is treated as an outline, and clicking on an item — like a to do in a project — creates a new ‘sheet’ for the to do that hovers over the project sheet. Closing the to do exposes the project, and so on.
Need to get access to the beta and find out if 37signals have finally fixed the federated identity bug. I bet they have.
It’s funny how hard it is to pick an interesting image from a giant grid on a web site. It’s also funny how many images we look at each day. What’s not funny is how much all that digital viewing numbs our senses and sucks our souls. I’m speaking in terms of science, of course. But when you display one image at a time in a series that’s essentially customized, based on time, something profound happens. More weight and significance is placed on each image, just because you have to consider it, at least for a split second, in your feed. Instagram forces you to focus.
It might seem trivial, but showing one photo at a time is a design decision that creates more value for each image, and enhances your viewing experience. Plus it doesn’t hurt to have the images trapped inside a beautiful iPhone screen. It almost doesn’t matter who you follow—their photos probably look better one at a time. From a UX perspective, we keep learning that interfaces with constraints are successful, and it seems like such a straight-forward principle (140 characters, ahem), but it’s kind of worthless on it’s own. Obviously you can’t introduce constraints without other elements, which is why this is the last point. There’s something enticing about knowing that most Instagram photos are created on the iPhone, since it introduces a NASCAR-like equality. That makes it fun to see what other people can create with the same technical constraints you have. Photography has always been all about the equipment, and not at all about the equipment. Knowing millions of people are creating with roughly the same camera and app as you makes it exciting creatively. So constraints, combined with quality and an audience are what makes Instagram so addictive.
To me, claiming that Pictures Under Glass is the future of interaction is like claiming that black-and-white is the future of photography. It’s obviously a transitional technology. And the sooner we transition, the better.
Bret Victor, A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design
Reader is a product built to consume information, quickly. We designed it to be very good at that one thing. G+ is an experience built around browsing (similar to Facebook) and socializing. Taking the UI paradigm for G+ and mashing it onto Reader without any apparent regard for the underlying function is awful and it shows.
The second and more obvious change, is that someone took the magic color-removing wand and drenched the whole page in grey. It’s so unbelievably stark, it’s hard to imagine a more desolate experience. Even G+ has blue links for post titles. Blue titles are good enough for Google search. Reader, which is built entirely around posts with titles, does away with this in the name of the almighty grey god.
The only thing left with any color of consequence it the obscenely red subscribe button in the top left, which in keeping with the spirit of prioritizing the exactly wrong thing — you don’t even need to use very often.
There plenty of other areas to nitpick like the fact that there’s no separation between the reading pane and the subscriptions panel, that the active post you’re reading no longer pops out as much as before, and the extra padding crammed into the subscriptions list — but the old interface wasn’t perfect either, though it was designed around satisfying the primary use case of reading. In any case, I only have so much time, and need to save my rage for the next section of even more egregious changes.
- Brian Shih, Reader redesign: Terrible decision, or worst decision?
I think that Google reader now looks like the back of an organic cereal box. Go read all of Brian’s comments.
The UI decisions just don’t seem to make sense. And the integration with Google+ seems to break privacy:
Keep in mind that on top of requiring 3-4 times as many clicks, you also now must +1 a post publicly to share it, even if it’s shared to a private circle. That bears repeating. The next time you want to share some sexy halloween costumes with your private set of friends, you first must publicly +1 the post, which means it shows up on your profile, plus wherever the hell G+ decides to use +1 data. So much for building a network around privacy controls.
The frustrating thing is that these pitfalls could have been avoided through a more thought out integration. As Kevin Fox has already pointed out, Google could have easily made it so that sharing was pushed through G+ (therefore giving providing content on G+, and gaining all the benefits of an integration), but also replaced shared items from People You Follow with a Reader-specific Circle.
But no - instead, they’ve ripped out the ability to consume shared items wholesale from the product. The closest analogue might be if Twitter made it so that 3rd party clients could use the Retweet functionality to push Retweets to a user’s stream — but only allowed you to consume Retweets on twitter.com.
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.
Podio has unveiled a major redesign that I will be summarizing here soon, and which will be also be reviewed in detail at workmedia.ly, in the next week or so. Click on the image above for a slideshow.
For those familiar with the old Podio (see workmedia.ly/podio) these are really large UX changes.
New Tumblr Dashboard
I don’t understand all the changes, yet, but clearly the most used blogs in my account(?) are shown at the top, and I can move from one to the other. But I don’t get it, except for restylying: are the semantics really different?
Update: Explore Integrated Into The Followed Tags
Explore is gone from the Dashboard, and the new look extends to the followed tags page:
Web anthropologist, futurist, author. My focus is the future, and the tectonic forces pushing business, media, and society into an unclear and accelerating future. more.
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