Essays & Articles
Engineers and business executives are good at solving problems, but they seldom ask if it is the correct problem.
Human- and humanity-centered designers are trained to address the core, underlying factors, not just the symptoms.
Simplicity is in the mind, complexity is in the world.
If you understand something, then even things that are complex become simple. The complexity of the product must match the complexity of the task.
Failures? No — Learning Experiences
We scientists (and designers) learn from our failures. In fact, scientists seldom fail. Instead, they say “that didn’t work. Time to try something new.” I prefer never to talk of failure. Instead, I say “that...
Design must change from being unintentionally destructive to being intentionally constructive
I learn more by being wrong than by being right
When people praise my ideas it is nice to hear, but I don’t learn anything. If people disagree, I learn. If they convince me, I am thankful and I change. If I believe I was...
If you can think of a clever solution in a few hours, assume many others have already done so
If you can think of a clever new concept or solution to an existing problem in a few minutes or hours, then you should recognize that many people all over the world, many who have...
Make it Simple? No! Make it Understandable.
Make it Simple? No! Make it Understandable. When people make things "simple" by minimizing controls, they make it much more difficult to work or to understand.
Simplicity is in the mind, Complexity is in the world. Why? Things you understand are simple.
It is the designer’s job to take complex requirements and make them so understandable and appropriate that they are pronounced “simple.”
The universe is made of stories, not atoms
A quote from the poet Muriel Rukeyzer’s book “The speed of darkness.” Why stories? Because they combine history and context, critical events and results, both good and bad, expected and unexpected all linked through causal...
You are being too logical, I often tell engineers and executives.
“You are being too logical,” I explain. “People are not logical. Logic is artificial. It was invented by mathematicians and philosophers. It is not how people think, which is why it is so difficult for...
Design for people the way they are, not for how you want them to be.
The Perils of Home TheaterEssays
(Also published in IEEE's Computer magazine, June 2002). Anyone who thinks that the computer industry has made things difficult for customers, wait till you look at home theater. There is a major opportunity here to enlarge the market considerably by setting, agreeing upon, and implementing indus...
November 17, 2008
10 minutes read
DVD Menu Design: The Failures of Web Design Recreated Yet AgainEssays
It is time to take DVD design as seriously as we do web design. The field needs some discipline: Some attention to the User Experience, concern about accessibility for those with less than perfect sight and hearing, and some standardization of control and display formats....
November 17, 2008
8 minutes read
Advanced TV StandardsEssays
We are in the midst of an interesting revolution, one that I am sure historians 200 years from now will call one of the more profound technological changes in written history. This revolution is really about social interaction, collaboration, and access to knowledge. It isn't about telephones or ...
November 17, 2008
25 minutes read