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

Gmunk interview


Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: ‘It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.’

What screens want


People believe there’s an essence to the computer, that there’s something true and real and a correct way to do things. But—there is no right way. We get to choose how to aim the technology we build. At least for now, because increasingly, technology feels like something that happens to you instead of something you use. We need to figure out how to stop that, for all of our sakes, before we’re locked in, on rails, and headed toward who knows what.

Interfaces in need


I posted this on Medium on Tuesday, and the article has gotten 20,000 reads and 400 recommendations in three days. There were lots of great comments and Twitter responses, with a few discussion points coming up that can be addressed in future posts.

The post was fairly quick to write since I thought of the topic over the previous weekend and had my brain marinated in it for a few days. After writing it, I posted in to Design News, where it got 30 points and was the top post for most of the day. I also posted it to Hacker News, with no response at all. The Facebook IXDA Columbus group responded well, and suggested a workshop on the topic.

One reason why I think the post worked well was because it had a very optimistic, can-do tone. The post title, and the tagline were also a very clear summary of the whole post. And I also think that using "Facebook" in the tagline was a big help.

The most critical responses were redesigning and interface without a thorough process involving research, testing, wire framing, etc is not real UX. Others dismissed visual redesigns as not real UX. It's obviously true that a concept redesign by an outsider, and a long-term process integrated into the whole product cycle are very different things. So my next post will be about how different types of approaches and processes make sense in different situations.

Flow flags


Jake got us all some flags to attach to the back of our computers. When they are up, they indicate that the owner is in a state of flow and should not be interrupted. There’s an added benefit know knowing that there’s no hard feelings when Kyle doesn’t wink back, or Chris doesn’t blow a kiss when he catches your gaze. I certainly feel more productive.

Content is Kebab


When we use a website or an app we are all extremely hungry. We all want to access the content or complete the task as quickly and easily as possible. I’ve never seen anyone enjoying a complicated interface, no matter the amount of time and the level of commitment.

When what companies make money on is the same as what users want


Some companies make money from advertising. To make more money, they need to put more, and better targeted ads in front of more people. Targeting is the key to sell ads at higher prices, since it increases the chance of sales. Users generally don't like advertising, since it interrupts their experience, and they don't like being tracked and followed around. So the nature of the advertising business model creates friction between what the company wants and what it's users want.

Other companies make money from selling products directly to people. Some focus on low prices, speedy delivery and wide selection. Others focus on creating and selling their own premium product. Both types of companies have interest in making customers happy so they come back for future purchases. In order to grow, they need to convince more people to give them money in exchange for products, which is a simple and more aligned relationship.

Business and product decisions are much simpler when interests are aligned.

Options are the devil


Customers shouldn’t have to think about every nitty gritty detail — don’t put that burden on them when it should be your responsibility.