In Praise of Boring Design

I just read and enjoyed this:

Design-system builders should resist the lure of the new. Don’t confuse design-system work with a rebrand or a tech-stack overhaul. The system’s design patterns should be familiar, even boring.

The job is not to invent, but to curate.

Read “The Most Exciting Design Systems Are Boring”

Reminds me of a great article by Cap Watkins from a few years back (that for some reason I haven’t linked to before) about the boring designer:

The boring designer realizes that the glory isn’t in putting their personal stamp on everything they touch. In fact, most of the time, it’s about leaving no trace of themselves. The boring designer loves consistency. The boring designer loves a style guide. They love not having to worry about choosing the wrong blue or accidentally introducing a new pattern.

Also related: Obvious always wins.

 

Recommended Reading: Princeton researchers discover why AI become racist and sexist

I just read and enjoyed this:

Ever since Microsoft’s chatbot Tay started spouting racist commentary after 24 hours of interacting with humans on Twitter, it has been obvious that our AI creations can fall prey to human prejudice. Now a group of researchers has figured out one reason why that happens.

Read “Princeton researchers discover why AI become racist and sexist”

Opinions on MacBook Touch Bar are divided

Following up on that previous post about buttons: Steven Troughton-Smith’s Twitter poll with nearly three thousand votes shows opinions on the new MacBook Touch Bar to be divided:

Michael Lopp probably isn’t among its fans:

In week #3 of actively using the 15” MacBook Pro, I am delighted by its build quality. I love its weight. Last night, I found myself admiring the machining of the aluminum notch that allows me to open the computer. I type deftly on this hardware.

I am also equally deft at randomly muting my music, unintentionally changing my brightness or volume level, and jarringly engaging Siri.

The Verge reviews the 2017 BMW 5 Series

[The BMW 530i is] a car that’s supposed to represent the future of “state-of-the-art” car technology, but instead of feeling indispensable, most of its tech proved to be confusing, hidden in menus, or dysfunctional.

They might not be fancy, but sometimes buttons and knobs are the best solution to a problem.

The next statement in the review is really stupid though:

After four days of driving, it seems that BMW has misplaced its focus on design rather than functionality.

I’ll just let Don Norman deal with this one:

 

Recommended Reading: Gravity

I just read and enjoyed this:

Apple is doomed. So are you. As mortals we are used to the idea of death. We do not dwell on it even though it’s inevitable. We do know that we’ll die but what we don’t know is when we’ll die. That certainty/uncertainty makes us, more or less, do everything that we do. And so we carry on.

Read “Gravity”

Recommended Reading: Messages on iOS 10: Better features, worse usability

I just read and enjoyed this:

 Apple has packed tons of fun things into Messages in iOS 10—but the interface itself has broken down. No, Messages isn’t as inscrutable as Snapchat, but it’s not what I’d call a well-designed app. It’s an app that’s full of features, but too many features are impossible to discover. Overall, Messages for iOS 10 is just way too complicated.

Read “Messages on iOS 10: Better features, worse usability”