Don't Miss a Thing
Free Updates by Email

Enter your email address


preview  |  powered by FeedBlitz

RSS Feeds

Share |

Facebook: Seth's Facebook
Twitter: @thisissethsblog

Search

Google


WWW SETH'S BLOG

SETH'S BOOKS

Seth Godin has written 12 bestsellers that have been translated into 33 languages

The complete list of online retailers

Bonus stuff!

or click on a title below to see the list

all.marketers.tell.stories

All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

free.prize.inside

Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

linchpin

Linchpin

An instant bestseller, the book that brings all of Seth's ideas together.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

meatball.sundae

Meatball Sundae

Why the internet works (and doesn't) for your business. And vice versa.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

permission.marketing

Permission Marketing

The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

poke.the.box

Poke The Box

The latest book, Poke The Box is a call to action about the initiative you're taking - in your job or in your life, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

purple.cow

Purple Cow

The worldwide bestseller. Essential reading about remarkable products and services.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

small.is.the.new.big

Small is the New Big

A long book filled with short pieces from Fast Company and the blog. Guaranteed to make you think.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

survival.is.not.enough

Survival is Not Enough

Seth's worst seller and personal favorite. Change. How it works (and doesn't).

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.big.moo

The Big Moo

All for charity. Includes original work from Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters and Promise Phelon.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.big.red.fez

The Big Red Fez

Top 5 Amazon ebestseller for a year. All about web sites that work.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.dip

The Dip

A short book about quitting and being the best in the world. It's about life, not just marketing.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.icarus.deception

The Icarus Deception

Seth's most personal book, a look at the end of the industrial economy and what happens next.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

tribes

Tribes

"Book of the year," a perennial bestseller about leading, connecting and creating movements.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

unleashing.the.ideavirus

Unleashing the Ideavirus

More than 3,000,000 copies downloaded, perhaps the most important book to read about creating ideas that spread.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

v.is.for.vulnerable

V Is For Vulnerable

A short, illustrated, kids-like book that takes the last chapter of Icarus and turns it into something worth sharing.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

we.are.all.weird

We Are All Weird

The end of mass and how you can succeed by delighting a niche.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

whatcha.gonna.do.with.that.duck

Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

The sequel to Small is the New Big. More than 600 pages of the best of Seth's blog.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:


THE DIP BLOG by Seth Godin




All Marketers Are Liars Blog




Blog powered by TypePad
Member since 08/2003

« Where are your assets? | Main | We are not living in a movie »

First, do no harm--three rules for public interfaces

When we think of design, we usually imagine things that are chosen because they are designed. Vases or comic books or architecture...

It turns out, though, that most of what we make or design is actually aimed at a public that is there for something else. The design is important, but the design is not the point. Call it "public design"...

Public design is for individuals who have to fill out our tax form, interact with our website or check into our hotel room despite the way it's designed, not because of it.

In the quest to make it work better, look better or become more powerful, sometimes we do precisely the wrong thing, because we forget about the 'public' part of public design. If the user isn't focused or interested in the innovation of our design, we have an obligation to get out of the way.

Rule 1: The more often a device is used by first-time users, the more standardized the interface should be. 

For example, the shower in a hotel. Some of the most elegant, clever design ever created by man exists in the dials and wheels in the hotel shower. All of it is worse than a waste--it's dangerous and time-consuming. Guests don't want to learn a new way to turn on the shower, they don't want to burn themselves, they just want the water to come out, at the right temperature, in the right direction, with the right quantity. The first time.

Rule 2: Who gets left out is the most important question.

Small ramps are better than a few stairs, given the choice. The more of the public we include, by definition, the better the choice.

Everyone takes a shower without their glasses, and yet the little, indistinguishable bottles in the shower often have 12 point type describing what's inside. No, I'm not going to wear reading glasses in the shower. Shampoo maybe

If the disabled, the elderly, or those without the latest browser can't use what you've created, it doesn't deserve to be in public.

Rule 3: The best interface is no interface.

Great design tells a story. It moves a product from one category to another, increases yield, creates efficiencies and most of all, adds beauty to the interaction.

But it doesn't have to shout. Or confuse. The pro user, the individual who chose your design because it is something she wants to use every day--this user appreciates the power and the beauty you've created. But in public, for the infrequent passerby, do not call attention to what you've built. We have other things to do. The best designer understands what's important.

Don't abdicate the responsibility for great public design. Do not settle for inefficient, banal or ugly. But at the same time, respect the rules. Anyone can grandstand, but it takes real skill to do great public design that works. We're not looking for design we notice... no, it's design that improves the experience for the public that is the best public design.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b31569e2017d4064fc20970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference First, do no harm--three rules for public interfaces:

« Where are your assets? | Main | We are not living in a movie »