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Design Curmudgeon Joined over 8 years ago
a lot of this seems pretty obvious and not ethics-related. knowing requirements before you start isn't ethical designing, it's literally your job. most of this is the kind of ethics we expect in day to day life: don't steal, don't breach someone's confidence, treat others the way they would like to be treated.
i think there needs to be a lot more exploration of moral design in general.
I do not know your current location and what are deemed moral or not; that’s up to you to decide
it is up to us to decide, but i think there should be some guidance in the community, even if it's only informal. what kinds of things should we not design for? should designers allow apps like grindr to track your location? it might make things easier for the user, but what happens if that information gets sold to a morally odious organization?
in one article he writes:
Beyond just the study of practices that make digital products easier to use, it’s reasonable to think of usability as a field that considers what’s in the best interests of the user.
facebook makes it easy to share misinformation to a lot of people, and it makes it easy to get mad at people who don't agree with you. that's good usability (it's easy to share!) but i think we'd all agree it's bad for our mental health and society.
what do people actually want on here? is it longform writing about ux and the process? lord knows i don't need another poorly written medium article about the basics of something i do every day.
here's an article that really got me thinking, the kind of thing i set aside time to read. i think bret victor's articles are really good. i personally want something thought-provoking. case studies that explain how a particular problem was solved. why a well-known company made a decision. how do i even find that if i'm not using designer news?
i'm a pretty active reddit user but i never upvote things there, i just comment. i don't know why. maybe comment activity is a better indicator of how good something is instead of an upvote? can you get comments on things without upvotes? feels like a catch-22.
This article is orbiting around a lot concepts that have existed in academia for a long time. There, it's called the 10-foot user interface because you use it from 10 feet away.
I like the explicit discussion of technical limitations — overscan, color reproduction, etc. But I wish there was more discussion about why you make certain decisions about font size, for example, or thumbnail size. While a grid is certainly a useful design pattern, why stick with that? Is there something that might work better for your application?
One of the big issue with a 10-foot interface is striking a balance between showing the right information without showing too much information. This requires a lot of understanding about what your specific users rely on to make their decisions, and perhaps some more nefarious research into how you can shape your users' decisions based on what information you show them.
I happened to write my master's thesis on incorporating social information into 10-foot interfaces and quickly discovered that a) people rely on different information to make their decisions and b) the relative size and space limitations mean that you can reach information overload.
I'm a big fan of Curbed.
It's an interesting concept. A big part of Brutalism was honesty about the materials involved — concrete left exposed with obvious forms, for example, specifically to celebrate that material. How do you do that in HTML, or in any digital medium? Do you show the markup? How do you make your structure inseparable from the end product?
That reminds me of two more:
I think designers tend to read too many specific books. I find it much more valuable and beneficial to read books about general topics and those that appear only peripherally related to design. Design is problem solving, right? So learn how to solve problems (with other people) better.
If you read only one book on this list, make it this one:
The Design of Everyday Things — Don Norman
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information — Edward Tufte
Designing Interactions — Bill Moggridge
Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction — Nathan Shedroff and Christopher Noessel (see also)
Not strictly UX but highly valuable:
How to Talk so Kids Will Listen — Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish (yes, really)
Meditations — Marcus Aurelius
On Writing Well — William Zinsser
Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World — Jane McGonigal
I'm excited to see where this goes!
This really resonated with me and laid out many of the problems I have with the current design culture. I also really appreciated that they offered solutions to these problems.
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