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Tradition vs Innovation in UX Design

Tradition vs Innovation in UX Design


When he said “If a buyer needs to click on something to see more images, he bounce off and leaves” he was stating a myth that is unfortunately widespread among popular knowledge about usability problems. As Steve Krug said in his second usability law: “It doesn’t matter how many times I have to click, as long as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice”. But I will not stick to this problem, my focus here will be on the risks and benefits of innovation / tradition.

Back to the problem …

Showing all of the photos at once could extend vertical navigation too much while it would increase the page load time. One of the best solutions, in my opinion and according to this article by the Nielsen Norman Group, would be to show part of the content and load the rest of the content on demand according to the user’s wishes.

But he didn’t like my alternatives and told me to think outside the box. In other words, he was asking me to innovate, to create a new solution (at least new for me).

You reader may be thinking of different solutions than the ones I suggested, and that’s okay, it’s not my goal here to tell you that my solutions were the best. For all life’s problems there are innovative solutions that would revolutionize a traditional way. And it was there that I remembered an old nuisance in my life:

I remembered when I started designing interfaces many years ago. I spent hours with Photoshop opened trying to create something cool and getting frustrated a few times. I will not exaggerate and say that nothing flowed. Sometimes I did something interesting. But some senseless ego inside me told me that I needed to create something “from scratch”. Something that was born 100% of my ideas and was good. At that time I had difficulties in finding inspirations to create. I thought that by doing this I would somehow be copying someone else’s work and losing my authenticity. I almost gave up being a designer at the time and started to focus more on the front end development.

If we consider innovation as the invention of something absolutely new and without “pieces” of things that came before, no human being has ever innovated. It turns out that innovation is much more a transformation process than of creation process. And understanding that, I was able to resolve my conflicts as a designer.

Nina Paley in The Cult of Originality wrote: Nothing is original. For a work to have meaning, it must use language — it must “make sense.” It needs to work with memes already living in the host mind: language, images, melodies, patterns. It can’t be wholly original. It can hardly be original at all.”

You may have heard this phrase before and it is an important truth when it comes to user experience.

If we analyze the various interaction interfaces that currently exist in different devices and compare them with the interfaces of the past, we will realize that what happened was a gradual transformation, an evolution that happened to adjust the systems to our needs. We can agree that some changes may have occurred more quickly than others, but that does not take away the fact that they are derivatives.



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