For Designers: Personal Notes and Essays for Designers’ Emancipation. Interaction

Gauthier Roussilhe

It seems that today the design community has agreed on key principles when it comes to interaction and experience. Interaction must aim at a maximum of flow; the user must not be momentarily stopped in his/her experience by false tracks, errors or dead ends. According to the advice from a company specializing in interface creation software, the interface must be: clear, flexible, familiar, efficient, consistent and structured. The principles of the user experience share the same goals: “Do not put any obstacles to overcome, just pave the road for an easy ride. Your designs should have intentional and obvious paths and should allow people to complete tasks quickly and freely.” We must not confront the user with a troubling, strange or even complex situation. Nevertheless, the advice above does not determine the nature of the interaction: a clear, flexible interaction (etc.) can be long and tedious. It can be equally short and simple by following the same principles. Yet, the broad community of designers interprets the creation of interfaces and experiences as a process to simplify the user’s experience, regardless of its nature. This seems to have been largely accepted and amplified.

Hence, it seems legitimate to ask the following question: Should all experiences be simple and fluid? Is the simplification of experience a universal principle that must apply to everything? Is that the intrinsic goal of “good” design?


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