Critical Analysis 6
I see the American experience as being defined by the immigrant paradigm of rupture and renewal: rupture with the old world, the old ways, and renewal of the self in a bright but difficult New World.Ayad Akhtar
User Interface Design – Fall 2019
Critical Analysis 6
How can the work done behind-the-scenes to ‘design’ information affect the visual design the user interacts with?
To best design a user interface, one must begin with structure. This is the overarching theme that I am being told again and again. And it makes sense. I can’t imagine walking into a library that had no conscious design to its organization. Or if each library’s design was drastically different from the next. The effort to learn how to find what you need would become a giant roadblock. Who cares what the library looks like! If I walk into the New York Public Library and see just piles of books with no logic behind those piles or what books are in those piles, I would walk right out. But I might still take a selfie in front of the building because it’s GORGEOUS.
In Site Architecture & Business Goals the author emphatically reminds us that “This is not a fight between designers and SEO experts!” The need for good architecture first can enable the effectiveness of a website design to succeed, alongside the design phase. But you must begin with structuring your content and information. And you must do that with the user in mind:
To survive a search engine war fought on the battlefield of semantic search, your business must deeply understand the psychology of your collective market, and then provide specific and meaningful answers to their problems, doubts and insecurities in the form of optimized Web pages that are simultaneously designed to rank well… and also fit into the bigger context of your overall business goals.
In Web Organization is not Like Book Organization the author reminds us to let go of the old ways of organizing information, like books for example. If you think about it, the history of Web Design is the transferring of information as we have known it – in print – to these more dynamic methods of delivery like TV, film, websites and apps. It is another progression in the way we share information, which a step further back was orally transferred information (or spoken word storytelling) to printed information. Naturally we would want to take the organization of information, as we know it, into the uncharted realms of the future. Hence, our early website designs really did incorporate the old ways of organizing the printed word. To a degree many still do. But it’s good to break away from the old to truly explore the possibilities of these new modes of transferring information.
I appreciate this same author’s reminder of the concept of a web, and how that applies to understanding how websites and webpages as a whole are structured in relationship to each other. It is a good reminder when designing your information architecture, to break out of our old ways of thinking:
Pages in a web do not hang off a table of contents like ornaments on a Christmas tree. Web pages link to each other along multiple lines of subject affinity. There is no page one in a web, and no set order of pages. If there were, it would not be a web. It is the multiplicity of links and the lack of a fixed starting point that define any system as a web rather than a sequence or hierarchy.