Field Notes

Field Notes is a site mantained by Jennifer Williams, UX Director at Amplify Education. Here, you'll find design content, design principles, and things that support designing experiences for people and communities. It includes things that celebrate software design and anything that lends a nod toward the greater theories of human collective behavior and human affinities towards leveraging technology as a tool. Please reach out: furybird@me.com

Field Notes is a site mantained by Jennifer Williams, UX Director at Amplify Education. Here, you'll find design content, design principles, and things that support designing experiences for people and communities. It includes things that celebrate software design and anything that lends a nod toward the greater theories of human collective behavior and human affinities towards leveraging technology as a tool. Please reach out: furybird@me.com

 
 

WCode

Similar to Bar Codes & QR Codes, encode digital data with literal words e.g. a telephone number like 9876543210 = Cat Apple Mango Tomato 

 
 
littlebigdetails:

Instapaper - The “add a folder” button automatically turns into a form field for the name of the new folder./via gadr

littlebigdetails:

Instapaper - The “add a folder” button automatically turns into a form field for the name of the new folder.

/via gadr

 
 

Humans intuitively know that copying makes us smarter, and how we should design for it.

Copying is a notion that should be taken advantage of when building out any interactive system. With the abundance of information and stimuli we are presented with on a daily basis, it makes sense to build upon the information and skillsets people have on hand already in order to aid them in the management of this load of information. Humans have an innate understanding that copying makes us smarter in the sense that we know that a copy of something is a pre-packaged container of knowledge. This is the basic way that evolution occurs, how languages are developed, as well as cultural trends and fads spread. We see something that has been approved of by others, and copy it to our liking. John Maeda refers to this within The Laws of Simplicity as “using design to ease the process of understanding,” and also explains that the reliance upon familiarity within design can be used as an effective mechanism to entice someone into engagement with your design as he states, The best designers marry function with form to create intuitive experiences that we understand immediately - no lessons (or cursing) needed. Good design relies to some extent on the ability to instill a sense of instant familiarity. “Hey, I’ve seen this before!” is a targeted reaction that builds the confidence to give it a try.

via John Maeda, The Laws of Simplicity. The MIT Press, 2006.

 
 
Digital makes us more prone to share things, but it also reduces our capacity to give things.

Frank Chimero

from his talk, The Long, Hard, Stupid Way

 
 
Advertising nowadays is reactive. It should be proactive- you have to figure out what the user wants next. I ordered a hamburger on seamless and I went on Facebook and saw a targeted ad for a burger, and I was like why would I want that, I already ordered that?

Kelsey Williamsburg

 
 

Movement, change, and animation are a lot more than ways to delight users: they are a functional method for design.

These examples are essentially animated wireframes, but extra detail isn’t needed. Designing how things change and move is enough for us to understand what they are and the relationships between them. You don’t need the heavy-handed metaphor, because the information is baked into the element’s behavior, not its aesthetics.

A designer’s work is not only about how the things look, but also their behaviors in response to interaction, and the adjustments they make between their fixed states. In fact, designing the way elements adapt and morph in the in-between moments is half of your work as a designer. You’re crafting the interstitials.

Frank Chimero

- another great insight from his recent article, What Screens Want

 
 
Metaphors are assistive devices for understanding.

Frank Chimero

- from his recent article, What Screens Want

 
 

Self-Destructive Messaging

Great insight from Forbes on ephemeral messaging; a new (old) form of communication, and how it holds great potential for changing the landscape in digital communication.

 
 

A Brief History of Video Game Title DesignGreat insight into the evolution of flat 8-bit titles to more cinematic 3D ones. 

(Source: vimeo.com)

 
 

Cute Animation in Interface Tools

Animation gestures should emulate human ones for more complete meaning? I had this thought in a very small moment in iOS7 after tapping on a link in my email that opened up Safari. Mail shrugged its shoulders politely to me and quickly dropped out to the right, as Safari swooped in equally as polite and presented itself to me on the left. It definitely felt like an appeasing, enjoyable moment that made me appreciate what the device was doing for me - and all of a sudden, I grasped the Japanese’s obsession with cute devices. A basic principle in the study of HCI is that humans provide exponentially more non-verbal communication queues to one another. This essentially boils down to more information shared. We see early explorations of animatronic expressions in robots, but so far, this has yet to be properly explored in human interactions with digital interfaces. I am very eager to look at the potentials of the inclusion of human emulated non-verbal cues in digital interfaces and how much more information we can actually present to users in this fashion.