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Just because you can fit more information into a space, doesn't mean you should. At a certain point it hurts user experience.

http://www.bulkrenameutility.co.uk/Shots/BRU_Main_Screen.gif

UI design is largely about directing flow. Scrolling down is certainly not the end of the world, and hiding less-commonly used features helps make those which are used stand out.




Thanks to such UX guidelines we don't have tools anymore, we have only toys and fluff. One of the most important characteristics of a tool is that you need to learn how to use it. Today's design is focused on making everything effortless from the get-go. But there's only one way to achieve this - and that is to dumb the thing down and cut out features until what you get is a very limited / pretty useless trinket.

BRU is an extreme case, but it's clear that it is a tool. Spend 5 minutes looking at it / reading a manual, and you'll be infinitely more productive with it than with whatever the beautiful UX artpiece du jour is.

And honestly, I'm tired of this dumbing down (= making useless) of everything. General-purpose computing is a very powerful technology and we're absolutely underutilizing it.


Very informative, and I would agree with this. A car dashboard seems complicated when you get into a car, but after you have had lessons, the car is a great tool. Nobody seems to be arguing that the cockpit needs simplification, yet in the computing industry (as you state) everything is dumbed down to etch-a-sketch simplicity for fear of alienating new users.

Mixing consoles also look complicated to a first-time user but I don't think anyone would argue that they need simplification.

Interestingly, Apple News app on the iPad uses cards and a simple layout, yet seems to work well and with no stuttering. This cannot be said for Google+ (and no, I don't want to join communities, stop showing them to me).


A tool is a way to solve a pre-existing problem that is outside the tool itself. Something which creates its own problems for you to solve is not a tool, but a toy.

Whether a tool needs learning beforehand or not determines how likely you are to try the tool in the first place (by estimating whether the expected result justifies the effort), and how likely you are to actually be able to use the tool to solve that problem successfully.

It helps to determine what the real goal is in this case. It is not really "allow me to browse through lots of headlines at maximum efficiency", but something more like "entertain me and let me keep in touch with people".


Yes that interface is bad. I think Reddit is a good example of an interface with high density that works. A page is simply a list of 25 links, while in your example there is the complexity of different kinds of elements and their relationships.




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