Towards simpler user interfaces
I realized why I like twittering and posting to del.icio.us. It’s really, really simple. Click. Type. Press return.
In some ways, posting here is almost that simple. Open a text file. Type stuff. Save the text file. A cron job handles uploading new stuff to the server. Server side PHP scripts handle formatting, archiving, and display. But in other ways, it’s not so easy. Empty documents beg to be filled, and often I will write and rewrite before all the words find their correct ordering. Sometimes they never do.
With Twitter, there’s but a single question – “What are you doing?” – and only a hundred and forty characters to answer it in. The brevity of the interface forces a conciseness of language. My interaction with the machine is at a minimum, reduced to only that which is important.
And in the end, isn’t it only the important that matters?
- “Deal With It” by John Gruber
- “Three Hypotheses of Human Interface Design” by Tantek Celik