Interview with Scott Summit (07 Oct 2005)
Designing the user experience must be seen as a start-from-scratch process, to some extent, with every new design. It would be easy to fall into the trap of convention, simply as a result of familiarity. For example, most car audio equipment and temperature adjustment now has buttons that replace dials. This flies in the face of functionality, since a dial is far more conveniently adjusted than a series of button clicks, - it's simply that a button is far cheaper to manufacture. If one were to design based solely on precedent, then the button would make for an obvious candidate. But it's necessary to experience the product for the first time, every time, and decide on interaction methodology throughout the product based on the unique usability needs that surround each interaction experience.
A further, and more complex interaction challenge has more to do with the ego of the user. While it is important to create an experience that is intuitive and natural to use, it's every bit as important to the experience that the user not come away insulted. Though buttons shaped like large arrows and shapes in bright, primary colors may make sense from the functionality perspective, a user may feel as though the product talks down to them, and does not respect their taste or intelligence. The designer must be cognizant of both ends of the spectrum and decide on the look and feel accordingly.
Article URL: http://www.gotomedia.com/gotoreport/october2005/news_1005_scott.html
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