Design, Rock & Roll, Old Motorcycles, Columbus, Ohio
The main golden calf in design is simplicity. Speaking as someone who looks at, makes, and uses design each and every day, I am tired of simple things. Simple things are weak, they are limited, they are boring. What I truly want is clarity. Give me clear and evident things over simple things. Make me things that presume and honor my intelligence.
I post this because I agree with it. It is increasingly obvious that simplicity continues to be idolized in light of all evidence. Cars are more complicated, phones are more complicated, websites are more complicated, devices are more complicated. But the UIs have been refined and user patterns have been standardized: you only have to learn things once, rather than re-learning for every device.
We should be taking advantage of this standardization rather than re-creating functionality with a different name, or omitting it entirely in the name of simplicity.
“One recent study found that only 3% of creative directors are women. In journalism, men continue to fill the majority of top editor roles — and this likely extends to photo editor roles as well. We’ve all seen Mad Men. This isn’t the 1950s, but the advertising industry is not exactly a model for gender equality. None of this is to say that men can’t accurately depict women in visual imagery, but if we’ve learned anything from the research, it’s that gender equality in every industry leads to better and more representative outcomes.”
"The new library of photos shows professional women as surgeons, painters, bakers, soldiers and hunters. There are girls riding skateboards, women lifting weights and fathers changing babies’ diapers.”
As one of the other 97% of creative directors, even I can vouch for how important this is. These photos are great.
We believe that as digital technologies continue to evolve, design learning should not be focused on any given brand, but on the techniques and processes that allow for the expression of critical thought.
Life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.
What Tumblr did instead was to design a more thoughtful form of community engagement by requiring people to repost content in its original context rather than simply piping in an anonymous comment. According to Karp, this meant that people who had “put themselves out there” through a guitar performance or a poem were more likely to attract a sympathetic, encouraging community rather than trolls. He added that comments are “a second class feature” because a commentator is subsumed to a tiny text stream below the main piece of content. To foster engagement, Tumblr is instead choosing options like “Fan mail” which aspire to create more careful, thoughtful and elegant interactions.