View Full Version : UI Simplification = Confusion

Success and failure of recent operating systems (mobile or desktop) are quite often attributed to the user interface and the "experience" it provides. Simple interfaces are sought after. Interfaces that even a child can understand. While this has created beautiful individual applications (Flipboard, Facebook Timeline, TweetDeck, Ribbon UI) that are easier use, the cost of switching between apps becomes tremendous. I'm posting this to see if anyone has the same feelings that I do.
Muscle Memory
I am fairly certain that I could get into a 1957 Ford Thunderbird and drive it just like I could get into any car produced 20 years from now and drive it (if I can convince the computer to relinquish control). This is possible because of the standard steering wheel, brake, gas combination that is found in every car. There are slight variations (third pedal, drive selector on floor) and incremental improvements (paddle shifters, power steering) but the core actions required to operate the vehicle remain unchanged.

Great post. I agree with a lot of what you are saying. Being too simple can be just as bad a being complex. Unfortunately, it looks like that trend toward simplification isn’t going to change anytime soon.

agreed with above. been seeing simplification not only in tech but games aswell.
no challenge = no fun = no creativity = no innovation

A good example of simplification in video games is minecraft, in which people are creative, innovative, and have fun. I guess the game itself isn’t inherently challenging, since there is no real goal :)
There’s always exceptions to rules though

At my work, we use maybe 6 different major applications, each with their own “best” UI. And that’s fine if you live in just that UI…but what if you constantly switch between programs? You brain has a good minute of confusion while it figures out what paradigm to be in.
Multiply that by maybe 60 app-switches a day, and that’s a solid hour of your bring not knowing wtf is going on :(