Here are some posts we have been reading about the value and purpose of creating minimum viable products for prototyping, where responsive web design (RWD) is at and where it's heading, and rules for exposing hidden content. We have also been reading about Google's design methodology, the science behind images or scenes that appear natural, and technical paranoia in the hit "Black Mirror" TV show.
What have you been reading?
Many coders and designers know that the quickest way to get prototypes in front of users is to develop an MVP or "minimum viable product." In this post, author Jerry Cao argues that the approach “isn't just about keeping the product small, but also [about] finding the best way to test the concept with an audience.”
This thorough piece by Kezz Bracey offers up, as the title implies, an overview of where RWD stands today. She ties its current state to its origins and then sketches out where this design methodology may be headed. One thing that she sees as “on the way out” is the “desktop vs. mobile” divide. To her mind, there is no longer any clear distinction between these device types.
Hiding content (such as submenus), especially on mobile interfaces, has become commonplace. However, as Aurora Bedford of the Nielsen Norman Group points out in this article, “There is currently no web standard that dictates how a hidden submenu should be exposed.” She proposes some guidelines and provides web and interaction designers with ideas on how to “ensure that any hidden content appears only once it is certain that the user intends to expose it.”
Last year, Google’s Material Design framework made a splash as a new kind of design language that works across devices. But curiously, it hasn’t been applied yet to the part of Google that’s most familiar to everyone: Google.com. Designer Aurielien Salomon shows you what doing so would look like, with intriguing results.
This highly academic article takes a stab at defining what makes a scene appear “natural” as opposed to “urban.” Interestingly, the authors found that “naturalness” was related “to the density of contrast changes in the scene, the density of straight lines in the scene, the average color saturation in the scene and the average hue diversity in the scene.” Using this information, they trained a machine to recognize natural scenes with 81% accuracy!
Our blog doesn’t generally cover television shows, but the BBC’s “Black Mirror” has so many story lines of how technology, and by extension interface design, affects everyday life, that it’s worth binging on this popular series. Warning: This post contains spoilers!