I was talking to people at the bar after UX Show And Tell about how I have no formal education and that any knowledge of design I have consists of what I read all day for fun. So my idea of what constitutes good user experience comes from the sense of gestalt I accumulate from the sum of my extracurricular reading materials, rather than any direct teaching. Reading this article didn’t give me any incredibly new insight, but the quote in the title summarizes an idea I’ve been grappling with for close to a month but have never quite been able to articulate up until now.
Personally, at least, the goal of having a minimal UI that gets more complex as you invoke relevant actions is easy for me to endorse when I’m speaking about a product in a broad and conceptual way, but if I’m actually tasked with practically implementing that UI it becomes considerably more difficult.
Again, I only have my initial impressions on which to base this judgment, but I’m inclined to agree with his criticisms of the Panorama’s content. I’d argue, though, that perhaps his points are ultimately irrelevant. As he says, a real newspaper obviously has time constraints and therefore be unable to give its contributors months to draft their pieces. The content will be drastically different for any paper attempting to follow the Panorama’s model - it’s the newspaper’s form, design and general editorial vision that’s thought-provoking here above all else.
The Panorama’s huge average story length is not the only anchor weighing it down: It is full of undirected liberal angst. Cases in point: The Magazine’s two short entry “Dispatches”, one from an Army psychiatrist in Afghanistan who laments that his job is to patch soldier’s minds up only to go back to the brutality of battle, and another from a Gulf of Mexico deckhand who moans about his vessel’s toxic waste dumping. The highly trained doctor behaves as if the conditions of war and the purpose of his job is surprising. The deckhand does nothing about his ship’s dumping and thanks the reader for listening.
This sort of writing seems criminal when one considers the Power Of The Press. Newspapers do not exist so we may simply unburden ourselves of our personal demons - that’s what diaries and blogs are for. Newspapers are capable of bringing sunlight to the dark places so change may come and evil can be arrested.
Bring your deliverables to either get useful, implementable feedback or to show unique solutions to potentially common design problems. Drafts/incomplete work welcome. We’ll have a round-table discussion where one person tells the group if they need help with a design problem, or if they are sharing a unique solution that’s worked well for them in the past.
As always, all current or prospective user experience designers, information architects, web developers, content strategists, graphic designers, etc. are encouraged to share deliverables or just attend.