The Design of Complexity

Should they not grow together?
Make me think! - The design of complexity
The task of the designers was to make technology look pretty.
The engineers main concern was the function of the machine, not its ease of use. And users had to figure out how they worked.
Objects became richer and increasingly complex. Designers and engineers simply burdened the users with this increase in complexity.
From complicated to simple
UX designers have found ways to design beautiful interfaces that are easy to use.
They constantly ask questions such as: What it this really about? How do we perceive this? What is our mental model?
Designers have been taming complexity for us. They make extremely sophisticated technology appear simple and easy to use.
From simple to too simple
Make our lives easier by using increasingly complex technologies with ever simpler interfaces.
A gigantic amount of technologies and infrastructure is domesticated by brave designers and engineers who make all this work.
We are kept in the dark. - don't see what is going on behind the scenes, behind the simple appearance.
We fail to appreciate and to empathize because we don't understand what is going on.
The problem with "user centered" design
Increasingly wary of the term "user centered design".
User - "consumer of drugs" - which implies dependance, short-sighted gratification and a reliable source of income for the "dealer".
A holistic approach to complexity
Widen our perspective - Empowerment: Who's having the fun?
Should the technology grow -- or the person using it?
Resilience: Does it make use more vulnerable?
Highly sophisticated systems work flawlessly, as long as things go as expected.
The more complex the systems are, the higher are the chances that things go wrong. Less resilient.
Empathy: What it the impact of simplification on others?
A simplified appearance can make us blind to those consequences.
Knowing about the complexity behind such a decision can be of tremendous value. We need to know things better if we want to be better.
Embracing complexity
We also need further design strategies that help us accept, understand, and interact with complex situations in our lives.
Article Author
Ralph Ammer
Original Article
Make me think! the design of complexity
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