Tag Archives: information architecture

Pretty & Different ≠ Intuitive


I like the idea of representing data sets in new ways. Particularly data sets where the relationships between entities are valuable. Because of this, and indeed the way it’s been rendered, I rather like Planetary by Bloom. However, in this rather fawning piece by John Pavlus on Fast Company, it’s astronomy-inspired interface is described variously as ‘intuitive’, ‘divinely ordered’ and with ‘human-friendly affordances’.

Forgive me, but didn’t it take humankind a rather long time to understand the causal relationships in the solar system to be understood? I wouldn’t necessarily say that we users would instinctively ‘get’ the metaphors used in Bloom’s work although we would appreciate them once shown. I think it takes some leap to suggest that there is more intuitive understanding of music data in seeing it in this new format than there would be in, say, a hierarchical list of artists, albums and tracks.

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…the grey squirrel of user experience design is gnawing the legs off the red squirrel of information architecture. The focus is now squarely on the presentational and interaction elements of UX, and service design projects that start with beautiful, but largely imaginary page mockups. In a great metropolitan company right now, a senior executive is being seduced by a Photoshop comp that may or may not be buildable.

A smashing quote from Mike Atherton which I found in his notes on one of my favourite Slideshare presentations.

On presenting the unbuildable

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