Magic

Magic

Magic works best on the gullible.

Capture the attention of the easily fooled and you’ll have thesocial proof needed to convince the easily led to play along.

Many of history’s cult leaders and fraudsters relied upon magicand its illusions to ply their trade.

On Interfaces

Back when Microsoft was on top of the world, their many designand interface failures were defended by self-professed designexperts.

“Do you think a company as big as Microsoft doesn’t have thebest interface experts in the industry?”

“Do you really think they don’t do comprehensive UI testingof the target user base?”

Microsoft had great success for a lot of reasons (including alot of under appreciated technical excellence), but interfacedesign was not one of them. Too often we assume that successvalidates and proves-out every aspect of the subject, which is a conclusion that is seldom true: most successes happening despite incredible deficiencies.

On Copying Bad Designs

When I first used HTC’s Sense UI overlay I thought it wasglitching: Scrolling to the end of a list saw it continue slightlypast, scrolling into nothingness, then bouncing back: The interface metaphor was andis terrible, and is something that you need to learn isactually some sort of contorted hint rather than a simple flaw inprogramming.

Samsung smartphones have a TouchWiz interface that borrowsheavily from a broken icon grid model because — as with Windows Phone 7 and it’s failed attempt to borrow many of the design decisions of the rising star — it was taken from the leader so “it must be good, right?”

It isn’t. It’s terrible.

Samsung needs to get rid of it, along with the boorishsquare form factor of their devices.

I want a Galaxy S II because it’s a brilliant device by a surprisingly competent smartphone manufacturer. I don’twant a clone overlay or KIRF-like form factor.

Visual Studio 2010 added some new transition effects, includingone where restored windows do a little “page curl” effect.

It looks absurd (desktop windows do not curl, no matter how much hot air can be generated spinning rationale for it), despite being an accurate rip off. Again, the socialproof of the magic show has many assuming that if the crowd isvigorously clapping at the original trick, it should be copied and must have merit. Itdoesn’t.

No thanks. Enjoy your magic show, justified through vague andvacuous, never-debatable slopthink, but eventually the illusionsshow for what they are, the social proof fades, and hindsightallows people to evaluate rationally.