On design and assumptions
Fragments from imaginary dialogues
“As a designer, I like to look at (and deconstruct) other people’s designs in order to learn from them. One of the questions I like to ask is:
What implicit assumptions is this design based on?
When it comes to social media, based on the design of their interface, one implicit assumption for ALL of them seems to be: information only has value in the present.”
“How can you tell?”
“For any social media platform, see how easily you can find and access past information.
Take Facebook for instance. Facebook is a black hole. If I want to find my own past information, I need to scroll and scroll and scroll. The more information I have, the more daunting the task becomes.
My reasoning is, if the design premise had been different, the interface would have been different.”
“How would you design them?”
“This is a long discussion (and one of my favorite topics).
Imagine being able to organize all your information into meaningful categories, and having a robust search option. This way, if you visited someone else’s profile, you wouldn’t have to endlessly scroll through their content (which, I imagine, no one ever does). You’d see all their categories at a glance, which, besides being a glimpse into their mind and organizational style, would allow you to easily explore those categories that are most relevant to you.
This is what my CommonBook [<link; long read] project is based on (among many other things).”