07 May 2008

UX News Round-Up for May 7th, 2008

07 May 2008
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“Simplicity isn’t a bad design goal; complexity isn’t a good one”

Joshua Porter from UIE responds to Don Norman’s article, “Simplicity is Overrated.” Citing the work of Barry Schwartz, who writes on consumer behavior and trade-offs in “The Paradox of Choice,” Porter observes that users tend to choose more complex products not because they prefer complexity, but because “they can’t predict what functionality they will need in the future.”

Though Norman’s article suggests that “simplicity does not sell,” and that design teams should strive for complex, feature-laden interfaces, Porter suggests that design teams look instead towards helping users understand or discover what they need before making a purchase. In doing so, designers leverage the insight that users want “simple decisions as much as simple products,” helping users avoid “the trap of assuming that complexity equals capability.”

Luke Wroblewski on Web Forms

Rosenfeld Media’s anticipated second offering is now available. “Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks,” by Luke Wroblewski, provides actionable insight and information to “designing effective and engaging web forms.” All 218 images from the book have been made available on Flickr. Wroblewski is Senior Principle of Product Ideation and Design at Yahoo! Inc. and has also held positions at eBay and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. “Web Form Design” follows up “Mental Models,” by Indi Young, in Rosenfeld Media’s line-up of books on information and its use, management and design.

Montparnas’ weekly news installment posts every Tuesday.

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