usability

Why recipe sites shouldn't be in Flash

Note: This is an entry from August of 2010, but it seemed especially apt, as I've been spending most of my days this week in a frenzy of food preservation. Enjoy.

In which I vent with Leisa Reichelt, about UX and Drupal.

It was a dewy, slightly drizzly day on the Internets. I was on my third latte. 

Serenaded by the sounds of a bustling coffee shop in Prague, I chatted over Skype with Leisa Reichelt, part of the UX team that is responsible for the overhaul of both Drupal.org and Drupal 7. What follows is a rather incomplete summary of our conversation, which centered around the challenges inherent in doing, communicating and selling quality UX work. 

Usable vs. Poetic Interactions

In Thoughts on Interaction Design, author Jon Kolko talks about “poetic interactions.” The thrust of his essay was that a truly poetic interaction went well beyond simple “usability” - whether a task is easy or efficient to perform - and that too much of interaction design, especially in the digital realm, focuses on usability to the exclusion of other factors. As Kolko writes in his essay,

If your users need an instruction manual, you're doing it wrong.

On last night's Top Chef (come on, you didn't think that I wouldn't be obsessed with that show, did you?), in one of those random throwaway segments that they throw in just before or after the commercials, two of the chefs got into an argument. The argument was about whether customers should need instruction on how to eat a chef's food.

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