“Of all blunders, there is hardly one which might not be avoided through diligent study of simple textbooks on grammar and rhetoric, intelligent perusal of the best authors, and care and forethought in composition. Almost no excuse exists for their persistent occurrence, since the sources of correction are so numerous and so available.”—
“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration - it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.”—NYTimes op-Ed piece by Tim Kreider | http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/opinionator/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/?_r=0
We should, whenever possible, be designing for content parity across the web, ensuring users can access their words and perform their tasks—regardless of the device they have on hand, or the context they’re currently in.
There are, of course, always exceptions: while there might be broad agreement across all the views of your site, you might decide that certain segments of your audience actually need different content, or that users of a certain device class would benefit from different features. But the deciding factor in figuring that out isn’t the devices themselves, but ample research and a well-informed content strategy.
“When people talk listen completely. Don’t be thinking what you’re going to say. Most people never listen. Nor do they observe. You should be able to go into a room and when you come out know everything that you saw there and not only that. If that room gave you any feeling you should know exactly what it was that gave you that feeling. Try that for practice. When you’re in town stand outside the theatre and see how the people differ in the way they get out of taxis or motor cars. There are a thousand ways to practice. And always think of other people.”—Hemingway’s advice to aspiring writers (via explore-blog)
“What the Designer Ought to Be:
Let the designer be bold in all sure things, and fearful in dangerous things; let him avoid all faulty treatments and practices. He ought to be gracious to the client, considerate to his associates, cautious in his prognostications. Let him be modest, dignified, gentle, pitiful, and merciful; not covetous nor an extortionist of money; but rather let his reward be according to his work, to the means of the client, to the quality of the issue, and to his own dignity.”—Milton Glaser found via Cameron Moll
Rule 1: Know your audience.
For managing products, this means getting out of your office to figure out who your users and customers are, and what makes them tick. This may require opening up meaningful dialog with perfect strangers, and then building their feedback into your product.
For managing people, this principle means getting out of your peer group to really get to know your employees and team members–what they care about, what motivates them and what bothers them about the way things are done. Start with a regular cadence of internal communications–skip-level meetings, town halls, meals with star performers, on-boarding sessions for new hires and team offsites are all good. When you meet with people, listen carefully. Share values and principles that are important to you and your company. Then ask big, open-ended questions about what your team members think–or have seen elsewhere–so that you can interpret and address common challenges together. There’s no better way to get to know your team than to jointly tackle a hard problem.
The digital butler is a useful metaphor for how interactive systems can make our complicated lives easier to navigate. But recently the metaphor of conversation has begun to guide interaction designers as they develop systems and define how they should behave as we are using them. In the conversation metaphor, the system is interpreting and responding to our speech and gestures in real time, the way an engaged friend would—anticipating what we are about to say or do and responding in kind, sometimes knowing where we are headed in the interaction before we do ourselves, but also guiding the conversation based upon its own knowledge of our past together and the world we mutually inhabit.
These two metaphors, the butler and the conversationalist, offer very different explanations for why users can become so frustrated when the exchange goes wrong, when our needs or intentions are misinterpreted or ignored. The digital butler, after all, is a servant, and that metaphor allows us to excuse the system even as we blame it—“good help is hard to find.” This reaction is also described by Alan Cooper as the “dancing bear” effect: We are so impressed that a bear can dance that we don’t expect it to dance very well . But in this regard the conversation metaphor is superior because it suggests that we should consider our machines our equals, and hold them to a higher standard—a human standard—when it comes to our expectations in the conversation.