Archive for May, 2009
(via KONIGI) Joshua Porter’s “Designing for Sign Up” presentation from Webstock, 2009, does a great job of focusing the task of sign up on user motivation and anxiety, and thinking through scenarios that help remove barriers to entry or ‘frictions’. Porter describes the entire experience leading up to the call to action, providing excellent examples that ease users into sign up.
Matthew E. May is the author of “In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing“. A quick synopsis of his concept on elegance of incomplete ideas is published as a change this manifesto, “Creative Elegance: The Power of Incomplete Ideas” [PDF]. To quote -
It is nearly impossible to make it through a typical day without exchanging ideas. Whether deciding on something as simple as a restaurant for a long overdue night out, or as complicated as the design of an entirely new product, we are forever involved in sculpting and selling our creative thought. Conventional wisdom says that to be successful, an idea must be concrete, complete, and certain. But what if that’s wrong? What if the most elegant, most imaginative, most engaging ideas are none of those things?
Experiencing elegance is nearly always this profound. The unusually simple yet surprisingly powerful nature of any elegant this or that gives us pause, and the impact changes our view of things, often forever. Elegance delivers the power to cut through the noise. It can shake markets. It can change minds, and mindsets, as you’ve just witnessed.
When I read the manifesto, couple of things came to my mind. First, the context of visual abstraction level in comic books and use of graphics in learning contents. It’s an eternal dilemma for comic book artists of different genre- what should be the abstraction level of the illustrations? How much it should mimic reality? (Check out Scott McCloud’s TED presentation on understanding comics). Second thing came to my mind, this is THE reason why we almost always get disappointed by watching the silver screen rendering of a favorite novel. Words are the ultimate level of abstraction from visuals, which allows us to construct an image in our mind from the ‘incompleteness’ of the words. After reading a novel when we watch the movie version, a cognitive dissonance is inevitable.
What kind of abstraction level is OK for learning content design?