Going Abstract

I listened to this great conversation with Donna Spencer last week. She’s an Aussie, but I’ve never come across her writing or speaking, which is a real shame because she had a lot of interesting things to say.

It seems to be consensus that the last 10 years of UX has been a huge time of growth, but also a lot misdirection, wasted effort and lost knowledge.

Even one small area, speed, seems to have suffered. Donna says UX is slow these days because designers are creating lots of individually polished screens. They are focused too far into the details, and they really should be working far up the stack. Not necessarily strategically’ but away from the interface.

Details are what get attention because it’s easier to plan and check off’ a flow, or components’, but designer time is better off modeling.

The conversation has clearly been percolating in my head all week. Thinking about aversions and addictions, tools like Figma (very visual) are an addiction to me. More abstract stuff is an aversion.

But if you banned me from using any interface design tool and possibly the computer in general, I’d probably get more done.

I’ll have to think of a healthy middle ground… There’s also this other danger zone where no one does anything that even comes close to designing anything of substance. Rather than 80% of this project, maybe I could spend only 50% prototyping and designing and still get to a good result?

March 12, 2021