And people were complaining about medium articles being bad.
Thank you for that :D
Your comment is in no way more helpful than the original post. Or most of the Medium articles. Congratulations.
When we criticise someone, it might do us some good to explain why.
Dubstep intro and outro. Cringe level at 100%.
haha :) well, glad you made it to the outro then!
I don't mind people telling me what to do as long as they justify it with solid reasoning that makes sense. But this guys line of reasoning makes zero sense.
He's making the claim that if you call yourself a UI designer, it will affect the way you think and solve design problems. You will box yourself into only creating user interfaces to solve problems instead of exploring innovative tech to solve problems.
His claim is utter hogwash and completely irrational. Your job title can't constrict what you do as a person. It has nothing to do with the way you approach problems.
Your knowledge, creativity, experience and intelligence controls the way you approach problems, not words given to you on a piece of paper. A job title doesn't affect your level of intelligence and creativity. You can still be called a UI Designer and come up with creative solutions that use innovative tech.
His second claim is that the UI isn't always the best solution and that the best UI is no UI. Again, hogwash. The UI is never the solution because it's the MEANS, not the ends. But the UI is always there and is needed to make the ends work.
He gives two examples that both need UI to make it work. The auto car unlock runs on an app that users need to interact with. Siri runs on an app that users need to interact with. Both have BUTTONS that users need to press and text that users need to read.
The UI never goes away. It's the means to the ends. When people say "best ui is no ui", they have no clue what they are talking about. You can tout using innovative technology you want, but without a UI, there's no way anyone can use it. Just like you can pick the most amazing destination on a map to travel to, but without an airplane to get you there, it doesn't matter.
Meh. I think our industry just gets too hung up on semantics. I've never heard anyone say "Calling yourself an author narrows your focus. You should call yourself a writer instead."
Let's just do our work and make cool stuff.
Bonus Question: Should an author learn to bookbind??
An author must write to do his craft, therefore, he is a writer...
Full-stack author... ?
Best just call yourself "Problem Solver" /s /s /s /s
Having this and "A Martial Artist’s approach to the whole ‘should designers learn code?’ discussion" on the front page almost feels like it's either a satire or a conspiracy.
When there are more comments than upvotes, I get the popcorn ready and enjoy.
It's funny because I've been working on designing contextual interactions for the past three years and a lot of what he says hits home with the whole IOT space. Everyone is trying to make all of these apps that control your lights, garage, etc. My roommate and I created a nearly interface-less machine learning based app that just uses the sensors from your phone to determine when you're home and what your intent is (going home, just walking by, is roommate home) and then apply that towards setting our lights to specific color profiles.
You end up not even having to interact with your phone, but out house does have a lot of 3rd party bluetooth modules all over the place. We've also written quite a bit of code to try and create an experience that's better than the dead simple easy to use light switch.
Thanks for a great example Joe!
Even though it's kinda obvious, 120% agreed.
Thanks Jonathan :)
Curious, do you speak from first hand experience? How many "non-interfaces" have you created?
Hey Jon, I'll give you an example. I'm working with a client who develops apps for businesses. He has an idea for a new service/feature in his app and asks me to design the UI for the app. After I thought about the problem I have come to the conclusion that the best solution is not to design this feature in the app at all but use facebook messenger SDK to accomplish the same objective without having users even going to his app. It seems counter intuitive to them since the user won't use their app, but from the user perspective it's 10x better not to use their app.
This has nothing to do with interface design, this is a business design decision. Interface design is designing interfaces for users to use software, machines, etc.
My point exactly - my job as a designer (as I see it) is not to design an interface because that's what I've been asked to do by clients who have no design understanding. My job is to tell them - "you don't need an interface, it's not the best design solution. change the business".
Have you had any success with telling your clients that?
Yes it's often our job to educate clients. If you blindly do what you're told you're really not designing anything
Ran, I think your article is provocative and opens an interesting discussion, but I think it misses the point by focusing too heavily on the semantics. The car analogy is a bit too simplistic. We’ve had advanced “non-interface” technologies for quite sometime and that still can’t always save people from themselves. :)
I’ve been “designing interfaces” for nearly 20 years now. Way back in the late 90s early 2000s there was a company called SGI we did a lot of work with - and myself and my business partners were certain 3D data visualization was poised to take over the world.
It didn’t quite work out that way.
We were a bit naive and ambitious then.
I do believe there is a human computer interaction multiple at work in the world today (not quite as fast as Moore’s Law - and will peak?) - and people’s ability to learn new patterns of interaction seems to be rapidly increasing, along with their expectations of what objects and their environments should deliver.
Yet, these things take time.
In the work I’ve done over the years (command and control centers, visualization systems that leverage touch, gesture, voice and traditional human computer interaction) are highly context dependent and are a blend. In some cases, the fingers work faster than the mouth.
It depends. Design has to be task/ effort / completion appropriate.
Thus, just writing off the interface seems to be missing the point of context. I don't think we're there yet.
Finally, on the label - UI Designer.
You just want to be understood.
UI implies software.
If I just say “designer” - in a casual situation - the next question is always “fashion”...
Use whatever vernacular makes sense so the party you are targeting or addressing can grasp what you do. If you're good, you should be able to move beyond the label pretty quick.
Thanks for the input Jon. I wasn't writing off UI, it's still most of what I do, but what was bother me was the quick jump to the graphic user interface as a solution.
Why you shouldn't use the word should: It implies that a group of people or an individual tells you how to, or how to not do things.
Good point Thomas. I'll take it into consideration next time. Thanks.
Could 2016 be the year when we stop wringing our hands about role names? There's a whole genre of setting up one nomenclature/methodology and then knocking it down as antiquated, and it holds the whole craft back.
I'd work free for a month to up vote this article a thousand times. But sadly, "oh wow a dribble design" link might get top article on DN anyway.
It's great to see clever people in the design community.