Fall of the Designer Part III: Conformist Responsive Design(elischiff.com)

8 years ago from Ivan Bozic, Founder @ arsfutura.com

  • Drew BeckDrew Beck, 8 years ago

    The call-out of the homogenization of design is on-point, but I think deserves a more nuanced discussion.

    Having a consistent and easy-to-implement design language has been amazingly useful over the last [x] years as the number of apps, products, and websites has multiplied. On the app front, people have built thousands of different takes on often very similar functionality — text or image as the primary content, a social network with feeds and profiles, sharing functions, chat — and having a set of composable pieces that are generally consistent has made developing these apps incredibly easy and effective. This has been a boon to developers, yes, because they can put an app together without knowing a whole lot about design. But it's been great for UX designers as well: we've been able to focus on what's unique about our apps instead of reinventing the header or the back button or the user profile over and over again.

    I am also a big fan of the now-generic flat product or service website — the one we all know very very well, with a large hero image and a bunch of full-width sections below. In 99% of cases I'm at a site like that because I want to learn what your product does, who it's for, and how it works. I find a great many of these sites incredibly effective at achieving these goals, and I leave happy. Are they unique? No. But they're successful, which is so much more important.

    I come at this very much as a UX person and much less as a visual designer (though that is my background). A simple and, yes, generic, product page like that, or a simple and generic app, is usually pretty dang easy to use. I'm not struggling with how it works or learning it's quirks. I don't have to hunt to find a menu or a section, or remember an un-discoverable gesture to do a basic action. It just works.

    I agree strongly with others who say that we are in a pretty understandable and expected part of the design cycle. We had our intense skeumorphic time, now we're in the intense flat time. The next step is finding new ways to bring back more nuance and individuality to our designs — while not sacrificing strong user experience.

    2 points