UI&us is about User Interface Design, User Experience design and the cognitive psychology behind design in general. It's written by Keith Lang, co-founder of Skitch; now a part of Evernote.  His views and opinions are his own and do not represent in any way the views or opinions of any company. 

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Entries in apple (13)


Aesthetics and Design and Your Emotions

A List apart published In Defense of Eye Candy looking at how good aesthetic design decisions impacts our rational thinking:

This raises some interesting questions—especially in the area of decision making. In short, our rational choices aren’t so rational. From studies on choice to first impressions, neuroscience is exploring how the brain works—and it’s kind of scary. We’re not nearly as in charge of our decisions as we’d like to believe.

You've probably seen the research studies where nice-looking ATMs cognitively 'work better' than their uglier, but equally competent cousins. As real-time brain imaging becomes available to researchers, it's seems that the mind forms many 'rational' decisions first emotionally and then creates logic to match.

This might explain more of this effect:

I think there's probably more to a Mac than just the computer — it's the culture of trust that users place in the interactions which enables them to try something on a whim. When users are rewarded with successful dragging between applications, they try it more. When modifier keys have reliable 'concepts' like "The Option key makes my action apply to other similar things", users are more likely to try them. This is becoming more and more of a moot point as Windows has improved over the years, but the cultural lag, I believe, means this still applies more to Mac users on average.

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Triumph of the Nerds — Video

I stumbled across the following series by Robert Cringely, which represents a fairly good overview of personal computing history from the Altair, the Alto, Apple I, II and Mac, IBM PC, OS/2, and the various shades of Windows. It was made in 1996, when Apple was looking like a goner.

Ignoring the pink polo shirts, quite a good series on some of the strategic moves which made the industry what it is today.

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Secret of Amazon's Market-Beating Success?

Techflash reports this week that Amazon.com posted a 9 percent net income gain in it's Q4 results. Despite current economic situation, Amazon.com is booming.

I buy a lot of stuff through Amazon, mainly because I like the user experience. I find the buying experience better than anything else out there, bricks or mortar. If I recall, Amazon utilize a Darwinian system of serving differing website versions simultaneously. I would love clarification, if anyone has a link.

Apple also reported significantly improved profit up from the same quarter last year.

Is this a trend? I'd love to hear more examples, if you know them, of user experience focussed companies bucking the downward trend.

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