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S. Joy Mountford on Interface Design (08 Jul 2004)
When Don Norman wrote his first book on interaction, he was working with me at Apple, and he was always leaning out of the window on trips with his Instamatic camera taking pictures of some interface artifact, which later we realized were to be used as examples for his book. Similarly every trip I take, I am reminded of how bad interfaces are everywhere, especially in unfamiliar places, starting with the signs at the airport. It's unbelievable. There you are, incredibly motivated to find information, get food, get to the right place, and so forth, yet the signage is a nightmare. Charles de Gaulle is a good example of probably the worst airport signage ever. You can find bad design and poor interfaces everywhere. On the other hand, I do think the world's appreciation of good design for and with people is getting better, and it's easier to find instances of good design. It also appears to be part of a current business trend to emphasize design as part of success, as seen on several recent covers of credible magazines.
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