Posts Tagged ‘garage door’

The Seduction of Simple: Hidden Complexity

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Simple often isn’t. Spacious interfaces with few controls, artfully placed, may look comforting and inviting (and they often are), but they can also front for a mafia underground of hidden interaction complexity.

I recently heard a respected designer (who shall remain nameless) speaking of what he called an exemplar of simplicity in interface design: the garage door opener. That’s the seduction of simple in action, because it isn’t simple at all. We all make numerous errors using the garage door opener — moving the door in the wrong direction first, pausing the door accidentally, or hitting the button too many times after the door doesn’t respond quickly enough. It’s actually a resoundingly bad interface masquerading behind the innocence face of a single, simple button.