Minority Opinions

Not everyone can be mainstream, after all.

Obviously Controllable

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Think about your shower head.  Is it adjustable?  If so, is it obviously so?  Most shower heads need adjustment only when moving in, so designers frequently prioritize aesthetics, minimizing or hiding the ability to do so.  However, a few are destined for hotel rooms or other places where they could be used by a wide variety of people, but only a few times each; for those cases, having an oversized knob makes the whole thing much friendlier to use, even if it doesn’t look quite as fancy.

What have you designed lately?  Are you catering to power users who will memorize their favorite use cases, or to thousands of single short interactions?  It can be tricky but potentially rewarding to consider both, making the simple controls obvious, while slipping an extensive customization platform behind a curtain.  Software and websites are obvious candidates for such treatments, but I’ve also noticed such patterns in electronic devices, voting ballots, and tax forms.  For that matter, even the humble book can have several features for advanced usage patterns.

On a semi-related note, we need to revise our will in light of new information.


Written by eswald

18 Jun 2013 at 10:42 pm

Posted in Technology

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