Notes on interaction design & development. Get the Feed.
By Christoph Ono, builder at GBKS, and tweetable at @GBKS.

Jonathan Ive Interview

3/22/17

We did it because we cared, because when you realize how well you can make something, falling short, whether seen or not, feels like failure.

How Typography Affects Conversions

3/22/17

What the 40,000 participants didn’t realize was that, while they were all presented with the same passage, it was in different typefaces. Six typefaces were utilized in this experiment: Baskerville, Helvetica, Comic Sans, Computer Modern, Georgia, and Trebuchet. The results showed that statements in Comic Sans inspired the highest amount of disagreement. Helvetica was not far behind. They failed to ignite the believability factor with the readers. The results showed that people were more likely to agree with the statement when presented in Baskerville.

The anonymity I know

3/22/17

The combination of anonymity and ephemerality has fostered experimentation and creativity rarely seen elsewhere. It’s incredible what people can make when they’re able to fail publicly without fear, since not only will those failures not be attributed to them, but they’ll be washed away by a waterfall of new content. Only ideas that resonate with the broader community persist, creating the most ideal conditions for the production of viral content, which established 4chan as one of the Web’s earliest “meme factories.”

Stop trying to make the web look 'beautiful' – I've forgotten it already

3/22/17

In a classic experiment, students were presented with a printed question: how many of each animal did Moses take into the ark? When the question was displayed in an easy-to-read typeface, 88% missed the error – that the gentleman in question was Noah, not Moses. When it was displayed in a hard-to-read font, that proportion fell to 53%.

...there's an unbearable lightness to the slippery minimalism of Medium, and sometimes it gets in the way. Writing presented like that is wonderfully easy to consume, yet also wonderfully easy to forget. By the time I get to the end of even a short piece, the first paragraph has faded not just from the screen, but from my mind.

An Interview with Jason Fried on 37signals and Basecamp

3/22/17

"People need to be careful when they're too obsessed with the design of something. You see this a lot — products with really beautiful, fluid, smooth demos. People don't have a void due to a lack of beautiful, fluid, smooth things. They have a void because they have a problem. Good design can help them get there, but design is not what they want. Don't obsess over design without purpose. Designing for the sake of making things cool — you won't turn that into a sustainable business. Be careful with that."

The Tedium of Success Theater

3/22/17

It's a post from 2012, when Snapchat started blowing up in the mainstream. The main point is that public social networks make people show off, instead of bonding on a deeper level. So we need more personal, less permanent social networks so we can better connect.

I see another side to this. Social networks have only been around for a few years, so we're still figuring out how to use them. Twitter didn't make sense to anybody initially either, now it does. Our use of those sites becomes more nuanced, and maybe now we're at a point where we actually want to have those deeper connections online, while before we didn't see a need for it. So the question is whether the tech drives behavior, or vice versa.

Exploitation of in-app-purchases in mobile games

3/22/17GamingMobile

Two great posts showing how some free-to-play mobile games have turned into money-extraction mechanisms. Most of the top games lists are filled with these games, which seems to be having a negative impact on the morale of game developers since the crowd seems to demand the equivalent of Las Vegas style slot machines.

There's also a well-reasoned counter-argument here. I think everybody understands that the economies of mobile games market are tricky. The real issue though is that developers become greedy and focus on extracting money. This reduces games to slot machines instead of fun, challenging, social, story-driven interactive entertainment.

I'm curious if Apple will do something about this. They had to pay over $30 million recently to refund kids IAPs. If games become too greedy and therefore create distrust between parents and apps, then the Apple brand will take a hit. They might now allow this to happen, but we'll see.

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