INTERACTIVE AXIOM #4: Usability’s Equivalent Exchange

THE EASIER YOU WISH TO MAKE IT FOR YOUR USER, THE HARDER (AND MORE EXPENSIVE) IT WILL BE FOR YOU TO CREATE.

This is a natural law in Interactive development; an equivalent exchange.  And there is a point in the development of every project I have ever engaged in that this axiom hits the table.

It’s ironic on some level that you, the developer and client, have to endure quite a lot of complexity, difficulty and cost – more than beginners initially expect –  to make the user’s experience conversely simpler and more effortless.  But it’s a fact.

That’s because interactivity is not about a single path or way of doing things (though many clients walk in thinking it is).  It’s about potentials and variables.  You are creating an environment where the User should have the freedom to move where he wishes.  This naturally imposes development of varied and redundant pathways and functions.  And the more options the User has, the more rigorous I.A. (information architecture) and U.I./U.X. (user interface/experience design) must become. Continue reading

INTERACTIVE AXIOM #3 : Embrace The Limitations

EMBRACE THE LIMITATIONS OF THE TECHNOLOGY

Arguably more commandment than axiom, I believe my old creative staff would concur that this was, and still is, the most often repeated, most useful, and most practical axiom to come out of our years in interactive development.

Following this axiom became a mission at Red Sky Interactive.  It was one of the key reasons Red Sky’s work seemed more polished and advanced, why at times it seemed to be magic, and why (when one can still view it) some of Red Sky’s 15-year-old work appears more advanced than much of the work produced today.

Embracing the limitations of the technology will make your work look, behave, and function better than the vast majority of the world’s web sites, apps and other digital executions.  There is simply no way around it.

It requires that you follow these basic steps: Continue reading

INTERACTIVE AXIOM #2: The Interactive Trade Agreement

EVERY INTERACTIVE CONSTRUCT MUST PROVIDE REIMBURSEMENT OF VALUE EQUAL TO, OR IN EXCESS OF, THE USER’S SELF-APPRAISED INVESTMENT OF TIME, ATTENTION AND EFFORT OF ACTION.

All the rules of economics apply to this system- though nothing physical is exchanged. In this economic exchange the User must perceive being the inordinate beneficiary, where time, attention and action are His currency.  Whereas, promise and (not “or”) payoff of value are the currency of the Interactive content creator.

Ultimately value – and not the communication of value – is the light that attracts the moths in this system.

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INTERACTIVE AXIOM #1: The Grand Interactive Order

THE USER IS YOUR KING.  YOU ARE THE SUBJECT.

The User is your King.  You are the subject.  Like it or not the User is in control. The User is the ultimate master. The User is King. Those of us who create interactive experiences must accept our lowly positions in the Grand Interactive Order, serving, amusing, and satisfying; ready and able to wield every ton of technical prowess and creative ingenuity we can muster to completely conform to each user’s unique interest, desire, whim and disposition. To delight the user when she grows bored. To shuttle the user to the very thing she needs or wants instantly- with nary a second spent indulging interests of our own. Don’t bow to this Axiom, and you will fail…

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