UIEtips article: Interaction Design – It’s All About the Subtleties

Jared Spool

June 24th, 2008

I’ve recently had the opportunity to observe a master chef teach a class of good cooks how to create some great dishes. While the cooks all knew how to make the dishes, the chef’s version was notably better.

It wasn’t that the chef used a different recipe or better ingredients. What made the difference was that he knew some real subtleties to the preparation process.

He knew how thin to slice the peppers to get just the right amount of spice. He knew how long to cook the scallops, so they were the right amount of firmness on the outside, yet still juicy on the inside. He knew how slowly to whisk the mousse, so that it was light and fluffy in the bowl.

Subtleties are just that: subtle. They are things you wouldn’t normally notice or think of. Yet, they can be the difference between good and great.

In this week’s issue of our email newsletter, UIEtips, we look at similar subtleties in the design of online applications. We’ll explore three different instances when a subtle approach made a huge difference to the resulting design.

Read my article, Interaction Design: It’s All About the Subtleties, here.

If you find discussions about Interaction Design fascinating like I do, then you’re really going to enjoy Kim Goodwin’s full-day seminar, The Essentials of Interaction Design, at the upcoming UI13 conference. This has been one of our most popular sessions — something you probably shouldn’t miss. More details about Kim’s session and other great seminars at http://www.uiconf.com

Have you discovered some subtleties that have made your designs go from good to great? If so, we’d love to hear about them below.

4 Responses to “UIEtips article: Interaction Design – It’s All About the Subtleties”

  1. Stacia Says:

    Credibility is diminished greatly when a glaring mistake is in the second paragraph of an article.

  2. Paul Says:

    Hmm, it must be so glaring that I can’t see it …

  3. Stacia Says:

    It’s in the article itself.

    “Ideal for pages where they are making movie recommendations, the designers display a pop-up description to assist the user in making decisions on what to add to their cue.”

  4. Jared Spool Says:

    Stacia, thanks! I fixed the typo. (Should’ve caught that when I wrote it.)

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