September 19, 2021

Robust Convenience

Christopher Butt disagrees with Eóin Doyle’s assessment of the VW ID.Life:

it truly is a Volkswagen among electric cars’, with a focus on exuding longevity, ease of use and robust convenience, rather than pseudo-high-tech sophistication. Instead of making a song and dance about automatic doors, lids or a retractable roof in the usual concept car fashion, ID.Life features simple fabric covers on its front boot and cabin roof.

September 19, 2021


Eóin Doyle, with a stiletto:

Volkswagen are doing a neat line in sterility nowadays, doggedly working their way through the product range, excising every last screed of sentience, charm or stylistic merit.

September 19, 2021

The Usability Tao

Tao Eleven is my favourite.

Ursula Le Guin calls it The uses of not”.

Thirty spokes
meet in the hub.
Where the wheel isn’t
is where it’s useful.

There are lots of other translations.

September 13, 2021

Baby Clothes Theory of Enterprise Software

Arvind Narayanan:

There are two types of baby outfits. The first is targeted at people buying gifts. It’s irresistible on the rack. It has no fewer than 18 buttons. At least 3 people are needed to get a screaming baby into it. It’s worn once, so you can send a photo to the gifter, then discarded.

Other baby outfits are meant for parents. They’re marked Easy On, Easy Off” or some such, and they really mean it. Zippers aren’t easy enough so they fasten using MAGNETS. A busy parent (i.e. a parent) can change an outfit in 5 seconds, one handed, before rushing to work.

The point is, some products are sold directly to the end user, and are forced to prioritize usability. Other products are sold to an intermediary whose concerns are typically different from the user’s needs. Such products don’t HAVE to end up as unusable garbage, but usually do.

September 2, 2021

September Mood

The Eames House

(via AIGA)

September 2, 2021

UX is now the key differentiator between cars

Jason Cammisa:

If it seems like I’ve spent too much time on this: I haven’t. User interface, or UX, is now the key differentiator between cars. [It] used to be you bought one car over another because of ride or handling or engine refinement or efficiency. All that stuff has been evened out. Everything’s the same these days. Ten years ago people were trading in their cars left and right just to get bluetooth and then it was nav and carplay. But I’m not talking about that. These days every one of a car’s functions, including HVAC and lighting is integrated into its infotainment UX and this UX is so bad that it makes you ask did anyone bother testing this in the real world?