May 14th, 2009
For years my kids, when assigned the chore of cleaning out the refrigerator, exhibited a consistent idiosyncratic behavior. They’d take a sniff of a far-too-mature item, make a face, then turn to me and insist, “Smell this. It’s gross!” My experience and wisdom had granted me the knowledge to know that I didn’t have to smell it. From just the expression on their face, I could discern everything I needed to know about their experience.
It’s the same thing that happens when my friends send me a link saying, “You should really see this. The site is awful!” I don’t really need to see any more really awful sites.
What I’m very interested in are really great sites — sites that deliver fabulous experiences. However my friends don’t send me these. That’s because when they are absorbed in a great experience, the site itself disappears.
In today’s article, Great Designs Should Be Experienced and Not Seen, I talk about how the goal of a designer is to make their site disappear. Of course, this has ramifications, but our ultimate goal is to focus the user on their own experience, not on our design elements.
After you’ve read the article, let me know what you’ve been doing to make your designs more invisible. I’d love to hear your thoughts below.
Making your design invisible is just one of the many insights I’ll be revealing in our upcoming UIE Roadshow, Secrets Behind Designing Great User Experiences. We’re bringing this critically acclaimed full-day workshop to Denver, Seattle, and Washington DC in June. Sign up by June 5 with promotion code SHOW09 and get $75 off the individual price.Tweet