UI Design Should Not Be About Aesthetics

07 May 2016

This piece of drivel made the front page of Hacker News the other week. It commits what, to me, is the cardinal sin of user interface design: leaving out the “use” part. From the article:

So why is blue the chosen color? Noessel posits that, because blue is so rare in nature (if you discount the sky and the ocean, which are arguably not blue) there’s something fundamentally mystical, unnatural, and inhuman about it.

So, unnatural and inhuman. Great design principles for things to be used by humans. This “Design by Sci-Fi” is something that irritates me to no end. It looks cool in movies, so it must be a good idea!

Brett victor has a rant that’s relevant to this.

User interface design isn’t about aesthetics. It’s about humans using things. Looking pretty is fine but it’s not the point, and if its what you’re thinking of first, you’re doing it wrong.