On Design

2 min read

We must design for the way people behave,
not for how we would wish them to behave.

It is easy to design devices that work well when everything goes as planned. The hard and necessary part of design is to make things work well even when things do not go as planned.

In design, one of the most difficult activities is to get the specifications right

What makes something simple or complex? It’s not the number of dials or controls or how many features it has: It is whether the person using the device has a good conceptual model of how it operates.

Any time you see signs or labels added to a device, it is an indication of bad design: a simple lock should not require instructions.

Good design is actually a lot harder to notice than poor design, in part because good designs fit our needs so well that the design is invisible,

“Know thy user, and you are not thy user.” — Arnie Lund

“Design is like a mom, nobody notices when she’s around, but everybody misses her when she’s not.”

Santiago Borray

You can’t make it better until you make it work.

“Don’t design for everyone. It’s impossible. All you end up doing is designing something that makes everyone unhappy.” Leisa Reichelt

“Testing one user early in the project is better than testing fifty near the end.” Anonymous

“Release early. Release often.”

“Usage is like oxygen for ideas. You can never fully anticipate how an audience is going to react to something you’ve created until it’s out there. That means every moment you’re working on something without it being in the public it’s actually dying, deprived of the oxygen of the real world.” Matt Mullenweg

A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week.

“Over and over, people try to design systems that make tomorrow’s work easy. But when tomorrow comes it turns out they didn’t quite understand tomorrow’s work, and they actually made it harder.” Ward Cunningham

“Different isn’t always better, but better is always different.” Anonymous

Adapt the technology to the user

“It is far better to adapt the technology to the user than to force the user to adapt to the technology.” Larry Marine

“The advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don’t really even notice it, so it’s part of everyday life.” — Bill Gates

“The best writing is rewriting.” — E. B. White (The Elements of Style)

“If we want users to like our software we should design it to behave like a likable person: respectful, generous and helpful.” — Alan Cooper

“A user interface should be so simple that a beginner in an emergency can understand it within ten seconds.” — Ted Nelson

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

a good design is similar to a likable person,





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January 2, 2020