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Interface: “The way that you accomplish tasks with a product—what you do and how it responds,” according to Raskin. A “how” often discussed as a “what”. Inherent danger of “infinite regression” (B. Laurel) when discussing the notion as a layer between the human (see User) and a computer. Rabbit hole. In iA’s Metaphysics, interfaces are Thresholds.

Articles related to Interface

I Want You Back (The Dropbox Remix)

Dropbox finally has a native Files app integration. This is good news for iA Writer.

UX Lessons In Game Design

To spice up our monster essay on icons, we created an icon monster shooter arcade game. Planned as a one week hackathon, it turned into an amazing one year adventure. Here is what UX designers learned creating an arcade game.

On Icons

Icons save space. Icons look crisp. Icons give quick answers to hard questions: How do we make it nicer? How can we brand it? How do we make it more fun? We ♥ icons. Until they start messing with our minds.

Information Entropy

Will information technology affect our minds the same way the environment was affected by our analogue technology? Designers hold a key position in dealing with ever increasing data pollution. We are mostly focused on speeding things up, on making sharing easier, faster, more accessible. But speed, usability, accessibility are not the main issue anymore.

Learning to See

Learning to design is learning to see, an adventure that gets more and more captivating the further you go. A love letter to my profession.

Bringing Responsiveness to Apps

iA Writer for Mac is the first native text editor that uses a responsive design. Why did it take so long?

Das Ende der analogen Welt

Im allgemeinen Sprachgebrauch ist «Digital» all das, was mit Computern zu tun hat. Aber was hat heute schon nicht mit Computern zu tun? Der Unterschied zwischen digitalen und analogen Geräten verschwimmt immer mehr. Wie sinnvoll ist es noch, von «digital» im Unterschied zu «analog» zu sprechen?

Twitterror

How do you deal with erroneous tweets? Not any erroneous tweets, your erroneous tweets. The tweets that you misspelled or, worse, that contain information you later discover is false, or a late night knee-jerk response you regret in the morning.

Responsive Typography: The Basics

When we built websites we usually started by defining the body text. The body text definition dictates how wide your main column is, the rest used to follow almost by itself. Used to. Until recently, screen resolution was more or less homogeneous. Today we deal with a variety of screen sizes and resolutions. This makes things much more complicated.

New Site with Responsive Typography

With the chaos of different screen sizes and a new generation of web browsers, the design paradigms of layout and typography have shifted away from static layouts and system fonts to dynamic layouts and custom web fonts. Screens are changing not just in size, but also in pixel density. Now we need not only responsive layouts, we also need responsive typefaces.

Business Class: Freemium for News?

I had a perspective-changing talk on the subject of pay walls with the chief executive of a big publishing company (no, I can't tell you who). He asked me what I think about pay walls.

iPad: Scroll or Card?

How do you navigate content on the iPad? Scroll or flip? In 1987, the biggest neck beards in tech held a conference on the Future of Hypertext and there were two camps, “Card Sharks” and “Holy Scrollers”. They had an epic battle over this question: Should you scroll or flip pages on the screen? Who won the fight?

“Web design is engineering” (Jonny Holland)

Jeron van Geel interviewed Oliver Reichenstein on Jonny Holland. He asked a series of questions about the relationship between Philosophy, Design, Japan and Western culture.

Designing for iPad: Reality Check

Over the last two months we have been working on several iPad projects: two news applications, a social network, and a word processor. We worked on iPad projects without ever having touched an iPad. One client asked us to “start working on that tablet thing” before we even knew whether the iPad was real.

iA’s 2006 Facebook Designs, Redesigned

From December 2006 to February 2007 we were in touch with the product manager of Facebook. The prospective: Redesigning Facebook. Eventually. Since the contract was never signed, we kept our designs in the drawer. Until now…

What’s Next in Web Design?

I’ve been asked by the Italian magazine L’Espresso to write an article on The Future of Web Design. Here is the (longer) English text.

Webapp Death Match: Google vs. Apple

With websites turning more and more into web applications, functionally as well as aesthetically, it'd be interesting to look at what makes a Web app work in terms of skinning. We start off by comparing two different approaches: HTML-skin vs. desktop-application-skin. In other words, Google versus Apple.

Branding Crimes: 4. The Start-Button

We have hated this thing for over 12 years now—the button that launches a pull-up menu. Only the twisted minds over at Redmond could come up with this. Yeah, I know it's not a real "Start" button anymore, with Vista it's become more of a clickable logo like the Macintosh one. But, after all this time, it is still a push-up menu. And that is another major branding crime. Why?

Branding Crimes: 2. Stealing Interfaces

A wonderful example of what not to do if you believe that Brand = Interface. Copying interfaces defines you as a second choice company.

Branding Crimes: 1. Missing Logo

The Interface is the brand—but few interfaces qualify to leave out the main orientational element—the logo.

Face Off: The Essentials of Online Rebranding

A company may choose to rebrand itself because of a merger, a bankrupting scandal, or because they simply have outgrown their name. These are solid reasons; however, on the web, rebranding should be considered with the caution of a face transplant.

Newspaper Wiki: Schematics

The last couple of days we have received some excellent feedback on our article “Washington Post Redesign as a Wiki”. First of all, thank you to everyone who took the time to study our problem and form an opinion. To be able to receive input from the best people in the field is rare and rewarding. We got lots of applause, together with some questions and reservations.

Washington Post Redesign as a Wiki

After our last post on “The Future of News” we have been asked again and again to illustrate what a newspaper as a wiki would look like. We’re happy to oblige…

USA Today: Mission Accomplished

When I read this morning that USA Today "refashions itself as a social network", I got a little shock as I was worried that they are going to eat our client's lunch. Fear nothing, client. Among information designers the USA Today redesign is a laughing stock.

電脳紳士

ユーザーフレンドリー(user friendly)でないサイトは、オーナーのマナーのなさを暴露するものです。専門家の方々は、このユーザーフレンドリーという単語を乱用しすぎて、元来「フレンドリー」という言葉が道徳用語だということを忘れてしまったのではないでしょうか。

The Electronic Gentleman

If you have a website that is not user friendly, you have an unfriendly website which basically means that you lack manners. The specialists use that word (“user friendly”) so often that they forget that “friendly” actually is an ethical term.

100% Easy-2-Read

この世にあふれるウェブサイトの多くは、読むのが苦痛なくらい細かいテキストをびっしり詰め込んでいます。どうしてなのでしょう?スクリーンに、そんなに情報をぎゅうぎゅうと詰め込む必要はありません。これは、スクリーンが今よりずっと小さかった時代に遡る、悪しき慣習的集団勘違いです。ですから、

Jakob Nielsen, Time Machine?

In 2001, usability guru Jakob Nielsen—according to USA Today “the next best thing to a true time machine”—was convinced that by 2007 books would be gone and “fully replaced with online information”. Was he being serious?

Coca-Cola and The Matrix

Brands make us associate positive values and positive experiences with the products they mark. Brand values are defined by the senior management in the “Brand Matrix”. Coca-Cola recently changed their brand matrix. Are we soon going to associate other things with Coca-Cola?

The Interface of a Cheeseburger

All things have an interface. Shaping interfaces is shaping the character of things. The brand is what transports the character of things. When looking at McDonald’s, iPod, or Nintendo DS it becomes quite obvious that the interface *is* the brand.

チーズバーガーのインターフェイス

すべてのものにはインターフェイスがあります。インターフェイスを形作ることは、そのもののキャラクターを形作ることです。ブランドとは、そのキャラクターを世に伝えるものです。マクドナルド、iPodや任天堂DSを見ていればインターフェイスこそがブランドであることが分かるでしょう。

Design is How it Works

“Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. That's not what we think design is. It's not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

Why is Simplicity Difficult?

Simple websites are easy to use, easy to understand, nice to look at. In practice, websites are either unusable or ugly and filled with too many words. Why do designers have a hard time to keep it simple?

Usability News: The F-Pattern

Since I’ve started developing websites I’ve been looking for the ideal layout. Today I got another hint on the direction to take. Jacob Nielsen calls it the “F-Pattern”.

Usable Interface Design

As an information designer the interfaces we currently work on—no matter whether Apple or Windows—bother me. Yes, OS X looks a lot better than its predecessors, and Windows’ upcoming rip off of OS X looks better than the previous rip off.

The Right-Side Column: Just Noise?

If it is your side column on your website you want it. But does your user read—or even: see—it? You might argue that the side column is standard. So we do need it. Do we?

Do We Really Need a Site Navigation?

Whoever performed any usability tests knows that users look at the content straight away. Users first look the pictures, then at the titles, then at the text. Navigation often gets completely ignored. In my seven years of conceiving websites and monitoring usability tests I am tempted to say that navigation is useless.

How Important is Design on the Web?

Internet users can give websites a thumbs up or thumbs down in less than the blink of an eye, according to recently published study report. Nature.com and Wired recently reported on the fact that we pass judgement on a website in less than a second. This sounds like good news for web designers. Is it?