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Latest Post from Beautiful Invisibility

User Experience’s Dark Side Raises Ethical Stakes

Dark Vader's mask from the inside.
“If you choose the quick and easy path, as Vader did, you will become an agent of evil.” — Master Yoda

In George Lucas’ epic screen saga, Star Wars, those with special talent and discipline can leverage The Force, the metaphysical power that binds the universe together – for good or for evil. The Force did not choose sides. It simply existed.

During the heady early days of user experience, many of us who leapt into the field felt much like the Jedi, the famed knights of Star Wars who used the Force to protect peace and justice. We were committed to bringing forth the principles and best practices of user experience that created intuitive interfaces. We strove to make the users’ experiences better, clearer, even to the point of being ‘seamless’ – the ultimate expression of an interface that not only gives the users what they want, but gives them what they need without them ever seeing how it happens.

It was only a question of time before the dark side of user experience would emerge.
Read the rest of User Experience's Dark Side Raises Ethical Questions.

The Portfolio of Jim Griesemer


Good Design is Revelation

Good design is not a personal vision that the designer brings forth to solve a design challenge. Rather, it is a solution that is arrived at after achieving a careful understanding of the users’ mental models through research on their domain of work, their tasks, and their goals. Good design is revealed, not prescribed.


Beautiful Invisibility

My goal with interaction design is to create an interface that, practically speaking, is invisible to users. An interface must be visually perceptible, even beautiful. But it should never get in the user’s way. No one should ever have to think about the interface itself. The design should be visually visible, but cognitively invisible.


Patterns Are My Lifework

People are creatures of habit and patterns have been inherent to human experience for many centuries. The presentation and interaction that users expect from an interface can be documented in the form of design patterns, which can then be used as design standards for components across multiple applications. Understanding patterns are at the core of my work in User Experience. I have authored many design patterns, including the vast majority of those required for an international design pattern library.