“Usable is not what feels like common sense, but what it is used more frequently and with a higher rate of success.”
I’ve been hearing this mantra a lot when I am around fellow designers. I have even said it myself a few times, in front of customers as well. But, is it a good mantra?
After some reflection I’ve come to think it is not. Actually, it is evil. It comes from being scared to fail. It breeds in our love for safety and warm places.
Photo by Luis Villa
The über-omnipresent iphone proposes interaction with a high degree of predictability and it carries a lot of changes on how we usually work with mobile devices. It is the first tactile screen that I am happy dealing with. Is it because it brings notebook mousepads actions to a place where we are more used to button pressing madness along amazing response time? or are we more likely to have higher tolerance levels towards cool stuff?
Predictability is supposedly a good thing when a user confronts a new interface, but does it have anything to do with him being more used to it?
Change wouldn’t happen if this last thought was true. And by nature we are afraid of change in a society addicted to the tradition of the new.
John Ford said something brilliant about this matter, from a different perspective, double punching those who trust marketing research blindly, years before Steve Jobs and his cult of the mac.
Success comes to those who dare to change. Change at the right time, with the right set of tools, and the precise amount of bravery. I guess that is what innovation is.
Oh, and change for the sake of change, well, it sucks.