Once finished reeding “Simple And Usable” book from Giles Colborne, I finally found some time to write a few lines about that here on my pages.
Despite “User Experience” and usability are becoming a sort of buzzwords, and we can see lot of new books and magazine talking about new and 20 years-old concepts, the content of this book is not trivial: it mainly focuses upon the changes after the introduction of mass-usage of mobile applications and their consequences on the common “desktop” Web.
Although in latest years everyone expected a mobile shift, only a bit of experience (because usability is a matter of experiments) might bring a real impact on how users really use a mobile application.
Colborne talks about real facts, common new design patterns with whom we will have to deal, like design for interruption: as it was found users launch your application in any potential spare time of their days, mostly during queues. So one of the key concepts that Colborne brings is a new way of design in order to reducing noise and as example, in outdoor environments, this becomes a real delicate job.
But on this book it is possibile to find non-common thoughts too, that in a certain way doesn’t reflect the classicist way of design: an example is the delegitimization of what characterized web apps all over the “Web 2.0″ hype: Customizable User Interface; until a few years ago it seemed this was the good trend to let users decide for their own. He suggests a serious valuation about giving users this feature, considering the important distinction between mainstreams (the common-medium user) and the advanced (skilled) one.
So the key value it’s about evaluating things contextualizing complexity beyonds needs and what the authors tries to explain it’s all about turning designer’s mental modal to a different approch based on simplicity for end-user.
Because good design is a universal concept. It’s applicable everywhere, in every tool we use and it’s clear that specially web and mobile applications, where user is the most important part, processes must pass through a detailed ux analysis. Because this requirment – in a service-driven world with a strong offer, is becoming the edge to success and credibility.
I encourage reading this book, specially to new or intermediate developers and designers.