Thursday, 27 August 2015

The best designs disappear from mind

There is a view that good design should disappear from view, should not direct itself to mind, should be invisible. Good designs, designed things, tools and things that get used, should not impose themselves on their users. Or rather, our interaction with the designed object should be so natural and seamless that we do not need be present-aware that we are using the tool in attaining our goal. Use-in-work (and enjoyment-in-use?) with a well designed tool, product or service should, in a sense, occur beneath direct perception, acting as a natural extension of our physical and sensory engagement as we are engrossed in the activity or goal we are directed towards.

The article in Wired (link) reminded me of these design principles, and it introduced me to Dieter Rams' less but better (weniger, aber besser) and his other "ten principles of good design". It set me thinking about how these principles apply to software design...