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Tag Archives: abstraction

Design is concerned with how it works, and therefore, not so much with what is and what truly is (or truth).

So we can turn this concern on itself and ask: How does design work?

One answer to this question is a whole field of knowledge, namely “design methodology”, but we can find a rougher answer (and therefore more abstract) if we point out that the question itself is an application of design! We want to create stuff (not make stuff, there is a difference) and in order to do that we begin to concern ourselves with how stuff behaves when it is joined with other stuff. Read More »


Whenever someone begins to talk about «Usability» you can time the few seconds for them to come up with «simple». For some not-so-strange reason, people think that a «good interface» equals a simple one. Mark Zuckerberg, tyrant-dictator-for-life of Facebook, responded to criticism about FB’s terrible management of privacy with “simpler controls”.

I don’t want to comment on the FB privacy issues (for that, you should as always consult danah boyd, maybe here and here). My pet-peeve right now is the idea of «SIMPLE».

And i was reading Lost Finale reviews and my whole point just vanished from my mind, so i’ll just give you the bullets and you can read a sidetracked maybe promising-but-how-to-continue-? explanation after the “read more”.

  • Simple interface means you take processing away from it: Therefore, you degrade the user input instead of extracting from it.
  • The illusion of simplicity comes from orthogonality — but creating orthogonality is hard and can only be done through adding methods and never by sheer cutting.
  • To strive for simplicity is to search marketing slogans. A consistent design comes from grasping the full picture — even if you do it instinctively.

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Some unusual suspect posted a few weeks back at (fabulous) OSnews a kind of a rant about why maybe we should mourn GeoCities. His claim is that, one way or the other, the mind state a creator has when he is pushing the raw matter around is different, more involved and in some ways more authentic than using an abstract (and arguably artificial) tool that splits the «content» from the piece itself. And, although i don’t buy it — i feel no loss for GeoCities, none whatsoever, despite having used it more than my fair share back in the day, or maybe one of the many copycats — i don’t buy it but i can’t shake the feeling that there is some… some… thing to this whole point. Read More »

A lot of time ago there was a game called S.T.U.N.T.S. which was one of the only two racing games i ever liked (the other being Carmageddon, which was not a racing game at all). And it was cool mostly not for racing but for it was the first time i ever had encountered a level editor. And level editors are coolness.

Anyways, S.T.U.N.T.S. had a strange bug that if you made a square course with slanted curve corners (so that you never had to take your finger out of gas!!!) and used the fastest car available at some point the car would go crazy. It was like the car had become an abstract moving body instead of a car. Read More »