The details in UI designby Cornelius Blank on 05/06/2012
So much of our modern day digital interaction is littered with repetitive, menial or unnecessary tasks. Fill out that form, scroll through that list, yes or no, cancel ok. Somehow we manage click our way through these tedious, often badly designed scenarios driven mostly by habit.
Then, ever so often you come across something special. Something that delights you in it’s elegance and makes you wonder at how easy it is to use, how well it worked… fun even!
Much like great typography, the best user interface design goes largely unnoticed. In a way this can be considered it’s crowning glory – so seamless and refined, so effortless it has become almost invisible.
Little Big Details is a website that takes a closer look at the interfaces we use every day and records these simple but elegant details. As a UI geek I find a lot of delight in browsing these clever nuggets – plenty of ‘why did I not think of that’ and ‘how did I not notice that before’ moments. A bit like finding an easter egg or being let in on a magic trick.
Of course Apple provides a lot of fodder here, one of my personal favorites the shaking head login box when enter a wrong password or swipe to delete a list item on the iphone. Some other favorites is the google maps satellite button showing the actual area behind it and the fantastically well designed Tumblr signup process.
It is examples like these that I would consider the holy grail of interaction design. So simple yet so hard to get right. It’s also a reminder that you can’t shy away from getting the details right. So often interfaces have beautifully colors, shape, form and balance but it can be all for nothing if no attention is paid to the delightful details and finer points of user experience — that last 20%.
Maybe you have your own favourite UI detail to share?