...Design Elements That Have Made a Difference...
per John Maeda
Start with the activity to
Entirely remove a constraint
Sustain overall context so user is
aware where (s)he is
Most imaging applications asked to turn on the
camera, whereas Snapchat began the interaction
in live camera mode. The invitation to snap a
photo was immediate; and the secretive, self-
destruct feature completed the addictive loop.
Analogy: A hammer’s handle invites you to grasp
it. In the design world that’s called an object’s
“affordance” — it primes how you might use it.
By keeping the entire interaction in view, and
easily referred to within a vertical scroll, the
experience of inputting information feels less like
the computer is in control; and leads to
completion rates of survey information with an
average of 60% (vs 10%).
Analogy: The acclaimed film “Birdman” used the
cinematic illusion of “the single take” to achieve a
similar effect to create greater viewer immersion.
Removing cash or a card payment from a taxi
transaction was a huge technical innovation that
achieved a better designed outcome. It’s often easy to
hope that design can solve a fundamental problem —
technology is what enables quantum leaps.
Analogy: When cars were rear-wheel drive, the
“hump” in the back seat was a bummer. Front-wheel
drive cars completely removed that constraint.