After reading some UX stuff on Medium



  • I'm convinced that UX is full of shit, and that if they had their way, UI design will die... or it's already dead.


    So, I've convinced myself that.

    User Experience Kills UI and replaces it with Interactive Marketing

    And I'm fundamentally disagreeing with this guy from the start.

    “One of the best UX designers I ever hired was an architect,” says Rainert. “Architects have a very useful way of looking at problems and space and it translates well into interface design.”

    Because they are technical, and their skill is in conveying information simply, rather than conveying experience. A UX person needs to be grounded in technical knowledge because a technical foundation produces simplicity in UI.
    That doesn’t mean every programmer can design UI. It simply means that not every UX can design UI, either.

    This is like saying you should be allowed to design bridges without understanding physics, or, more accurately, interior design without understanding drywall.

    Sorry, but someone whose focus is design and marketing isn’t going to produce the best UI. They’ll produce the most marketable and flash UI, but not the best, most intuitive, most pragmatic one.


    I apologize to anyone that is a UX person on this thread. I'm not targeting you with this, I have no idea what you personally do or how you personally work. But this guy says some things that I find to be complete crap.

    His main point, that UX certs are bullshit, I can agree to that. But there's some really bad assumptions in there that I can't ignore.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @xaade said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    That doesn’t mean every programmer can design UI.

    Thank god you're not asserting that they can! There's ample evidence to suggest that many programmers should be kept away from UI design with a large electrified fence…



  • @dkf Programmers can do UX as long as they assume they're really shitty at UX.

    It's the programmers with ego who are the problem. Those are the ones that'll cram Markdown in every application because "it's better" without bothering to find out why it's better, or whether anybody else thinks it's better.



  • @dkf Supposedly, UI's designed by engineers can lead to death by interface poisoning


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    Programmers can do UX as long as they assume they're really shitty at UX.

    This contradicts what I wrote how?

    What's more, that's as nothing to how bad UIs for scientific instruments get (GIS isn't delivering the goods for me right now; my google-fu is running out). The users — following rather a lot of training — think things are good, but having watched them, they're floundering terribly. I'm not going to tell them what a pile of mess they're in, as we've not the budget for fixing it, but I see it and die a little inside every time.

    The software in question (at least with our instruments) is usually not open source and runs on Windows. You can lead a vendor to water, but they'll still shovel crap at you until you drown them for the good of humanity…



  • @dkf said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    This contradicts what I wrote how?

    It doesn't...?



  • @dkf that looks a lot like our UI, which was designed by lawyers.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Hmm, it looks like there are literally no pictures online of the UI for programming one of these suckers:

    Be glad. It's abysmal eye cancer. (The robot itself is cool beans though.)


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    UX is a whole discipline, encompassing but not limited to UI design. The difference between UI and UX is like the difference between Universal Studios and Disney World: at Disney, every aspect of your stay is controlled so you never see anything out of character, behind the scenes, or otherwise immersion-breaking.



  • @dkf But, take that and compare it to some of the modern web app UI out there, that focuses everything on being shiny.



  • @Yamikuronue said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    is controlled so you never see anything out of character, behind the scenes, or otherwise immersion-breaking.

    And guess what, both of those are describing entertainment.

    Don't get me wrong, UX has its place.

    But when it comes to applications and getting things done, the result is something of a mess.

    Now I know why I liked Universal Studios more. Getting to the entertainment was more important to me than complete immersion at all times.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @xaade said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    But when it comes to applications and getting things done

    then you want to be sure that the user can get shit done, not get distracted by all the shiny UI elements. Which is, in fact, UX. It's just the more boring half of UX, like how programming enterprise applications is less enticing than making games.



  • @Yamikuronue I find enterprise more enticing, because games at least have some strong examples. Enterprise is total shit.



  • @Yamikuronue said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    Which is, in fact, UX.

    There's a balance that I'm certain hasn't been achieved.

    We've seesawed from one back to the other.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    Any time anyone says or writes the letters "UX" together I black out for somewhere between 15 minutes and 18 hours and then I wake up covered in someone else's blood. This thread alone is responsible for at least three deaths.

    But anyway, developing a decent UI is so hard it seems to border on the impossible. You can either let developers do it, in which case it will likely end up looking like @dkf's post above (or fucking GIMP). It makes sense, the person who made wget gave it all those 108+ options for a good reason, they're all essential, and so they need to be represented in the GUI as well, right? (Sure, that GUI probably wasn't made by whoever actually made wget, but it was obviously the same kind of person.)

    Or you can let some kind of UI specialist do it, but then you run into the opposite problem - the specialist won't be entirely familiar with the program, more than likely they'll actually be entirely incompetent in the technical department, and so they'll never see the whole picture. They won't be able to think of all the ways people might want to use the application in question, because they never did that themselves.

    Of course, the UI person could just ask developers about use cases and shit, but that brings another bunch of problems into the mix. Generally, developers want to code, they don't want to explain everything to some random jackass. Some developers do want to talk to some jackass, or really anyone who will listen, but those will go on endless, unnecessary detailed diatribes about irrelevant details... and the biggest problem is - let's face it - with "general purpose" applications like wget, even the developers don't actually know about every use case themselves. They just code stuff and people use it in various and sometime really bizzare ways.

    So... wat do? You could find someone who actually understands your software and its capabilities, as well as applicable real-world scenarios, and at the same time has enough experience and common sense to know how and why people might want to it. In other words, someone who can actually understand your software, has some sysadmin experience, and understands UI design. And at the same time you likely want to hire them for less money than a dev (and definitely for less than an entirely useless middle manager), because they're just making mockups and writing stuff, so they can't be more expensive than actual developers, right? Yeah, good luck with that.

    The same applies to documentation, too.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blek said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    someone who can actually understand your software, has some sysadmin experience, and understands UI design.

    While you're at it, also get a dozen invisible pink unicorns. Thanks!


  • Fake News

    @dkf The invisible unicorns can be arranged but that profile is just plain impossible.


  • Dupa

    @blek, fuck that noise! Just give me shiny and flashy!


    On a serious note: in order to create good UI/UX you need a person that understands your software, isn't this obvious? I didn't read the article, I got stuck and plowed through this extremely boring part when the guy says "doing work well is hard. Morons say it's easy and learnable in a week. Agwlbrhgrwblaaargh!" I hate these articles: your industry is no different to others, professionalism is hard, there are morons who lie to other morons who believe these obviously lying morons that they're neither lying nor morons, get over it. I mean, seriously, this site shouldn't be called Medium, it should be called Whiners instead. Or Whiners-ium, since they love to pretend they're so classy, classic, hip, cool and wise. COME ON, PEOPLE!

    So, I don't know what the guy said, but it's fucking obvious, that good UI/UX centers around the functionality and is simply a mean to the ultimate goal of the user being happy with the software and being able to use it with ease. The same fucking principle as with the software itself: our work ain't the goal, ease of use and stability is: user's happiness with it, the fucking business goal.

    I hate this hating on UX people. I mean, this is fucking hard. It's a skillset that requires a mixture of cognitive science, psychology, design, basic coding skills, fuck -- it seems it's enormously more complex mix of skills than we need. It's hard. So what. Get over it.

    But I especially hate this hating on UI/UX people that simply boils down to: you need people that are good at their jobs and won't be going for the shiny but will be going for the good. Big whoop. You don't need a coder who's capable of writing the cleanest code, but who's writing stable enough and clean enough code in a timely fashion, and with good enough understanding of the business, that it fulfills the requirements and that they're able to make a good decision when specs aren't clear. Could there be a more obvious statement?

    So fuck this shit!



  • @kt_ said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    I hate this hating on UX people.

    To be completely fair, the advent of the everything-is-a-phone and every-design-must-be-flat brain worms did overlap almost to the millisecond with the advent of the use of the term "UX".



  • @xaade said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    User Experience Kills UI and replaces it with Interactive Marketing

    Anybody who cannot detect the overpowering stench of marketing that wafts from the very term "User Experience" has a defective sense of code smell.



  • @dkf said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    @xaade said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    That doesn’t mean every programmer can design UI.

    Thank god you're not asserting that they can! There's ample evidence to suggest that many programmers should be kept away from UI design with a large electrified fence…

    Which is why I usually put up disclaimers when I had to do UI shit that whatever UI I throw out is going to be placeholders but ensuring that the functionality is there. Somehow, management has a weird way of interpreting it as ready-to-ship...


  • kills Dumbledore

    @blek said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    So... wat do?

    When I've made fairly complicated tools that need UI, my go to tool for making sure it's intuitive has been demos. Demo to other programmers, PMs, potential users and anyone who'll watch. Ideally, people who don't know it well. If possible, get them to use it.

    Then, the part that can be difficult for programmers. Listen to feedback. If someone tells you the UI is shitty and confusing, even if they do it with more anger than @blakeyrat, don't take it personally. Take it on board and tryr to improve it



  • @Jaloopa
    I always knew that my UI is shitty, which is why I always use the feedback to tell me how the UI should have been done. My initial UI would always be like as if I puked a whole bunch of buttons on screen. I have to keep telling my PM, I am a programmer, not a UI designer.


  • kills Dumbledore

    @WPT and a good PM will listen and get you the help you need to make the UI less shit.

    I often work harder on the UI than the logic, exactly because I know I'm worse at it. I can make a usable interface but not a great one



  • @Jaloopa
    The UI is definitely workable but it isn't something presentable to users. And I often have other projects to work on too, all at the same time...


  • area_deu

    Creating experiences for Millennials requires different thinking than for Boomers or GenXers.

    Of course, the article contains this kind of thought-cancer.


  • Fake News

    @kt_ said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    I mean, seriously, this site shouldn't be called Medium, it should be called Whiners instead. Or Whiners-ium, since they love to pretend they're so classy, classic, hip, cool and wise. COME ON, PEOPLE!

    The content is just of Medium quality, or medium whining.



  • @blek said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    So... wat do? You could find someone who actually understands your software and its capabilities, as well as applicable real-world scenarios, and at the same time has enough experience and common sense to know how and why people might want to it. In other words, someone who can actually understand your software, has some sysadmin experience, and understands UI design. And at the same time you likely want to hire them for less money than a dev (and definitely for less than an entirely useless middle manager), because they're just making mockups and writing stuff, so they can't be more expensive than actual developers, right? Yeah, good luck with that.

    ... you could just talk to your users.



  • @flabdablet said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    Anybody who cannot detect the overpowering stench of marketing that wafts from the very term "User Experience" has a defective sense of code smell.

    I guess you could consider "helping people to not instantly hate your shitty program" as marketing.

    Look at NodeBB as an example. These morons are trying to sell this forum. (Or support contracts for it, or something I dunno.) What happens if a potential buyer comes in with their browser window less than the magic number of pixels wide? They see a forum software with no WYSIWYG, no preview window, no way of quoting messages when reply, etc. There's nothing on the screen to indicate that if they made their window wider, they'd have all those features. They see a shitty product. They had a terrible user experience. And they're not going to buy the software.

    If you seriously want to call that marketing, then-- fine, whatever-- it's marketing. I think most people would call it "making good software".


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @dkf That reminds me of the KWin settings dialog :trolleybus:



  • Last time I had to do an UI, I did a quick shitty thing, so people would tell me what's wrong with it and I would fix it.

    One year later, and nobody asked me to change. There are even misaligned things highly visible on the screen.

    This misalignment is even well visible in a video the CEO like to show to our customers. I guess nobody gives a fuck.



  • @fbmac Why don't you buck the trend and give a fuck?


  • Dupa



  • @Jaloopa said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    even if they do it with more anger than @blakeyrat

    I highly doubt that's possible.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @blakeyrat said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    ... you could just talk to your users.

    Sure, assuming you have a way to contact them, that they want to talk to you (do you fill out surveys from companies you bought stuff from?), that they actually know what they want and that they have enough understanding to know what's possible and what isn't.



  • @blek said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    Sure, assuming you have a way to contact them, that they want to talk to you (do you fill out surveys from companies you bought stuff from?),

    Users and potential users.

    Go to your local old folks' home and ask them to perform a task on your software. Not only will you learn a lot about how human beings interact with it, you'll be doing a public service because those people need someone to talk to.



  • @blakeyrat said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    @fbmac Why don't you buck the trend and give a fuck?

    I signal the morons at management and that's it. I have other things to do.

    I had my share of swimming against the wtf current.



  • Good UX is the difference between having a garbage can in a bathroom.... and having a garbage can in the bathroom, right by the exit door, so that it's positioned directly underneath the knob when the door is open-- because people will wash their hands, grab a paper towel, use that towel to open the door, and at the apex of opening the door, let go of the paper towel.

    It's the difference between a perfectly placed garbage bin because that's the most ideal way your USERS work, and having a bunch of wet paper towels piling up by the exit door.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Lorne-Kates I have never seen a bathroom trashcan positioned in that way, and I have never seen a pile of wet paper towels by the door.



  • @Weng said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    @Lorne-Kates I have never seen a bathroom trashcan positioned in that way, and I have never seen a pile of wet paper towels by the door.

    You have never used a bathroom. Your poor urniary tract.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Weng said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    I have never seen a bathroom trashcan positioned in that way

    Our building maintenance people solved the problem by propping the door open with an old fire extinguisher.



  • @Lorne-Kates Problem is, if your bathroom door has a knob that must be pulled by hand from the inside, it's already bad UX. A good bathroom door can be opened with your elbows. A great bathroom door doesn't even need that (e.g. it can be opened by pushing from either side, etc.)



  • @blek I notice the image on @dkf's post has a "simple" tab, which I guess would contain none of this "expert" clusterfuck. Sounds like good enough UI for me: One way to get the normal shit done, one way to access "everything the software can do"...


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Medinoc said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    one way to access "everything the software can do"...

    Sometimes, you have to just actually read the manual and get creative with the ways you can combine features. At that point, using a command line is the least of your troubles. :)



  • @Medinoc said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    @Lorne-Kates Problem is, if your bathroom door has a knob that must be pulled by hand from the inside, it's already bad UX. A good bathroom door can be opened with your elbows. A great bathroom door doesn't even need that (e.g. it can be opened by pushing from either side, etc.)

    YES! FUCKING FINALLY! SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS HOW A FUCKING BATHROOM DOOR SHOULD WORK!



  • @Lorne-Kates what about the toilet paper?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Weng said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    I have never seen a bathroom trashcan positioned in that way

    In the last year I have seen a number of public bathrooms start putting trash cans right next to the door.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @Medinoc said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    if your bathroom door has a knob that must be pulled by hand from the inside, it's already bad UX

    To bring the analogy back: Xaade says all you need are more attractive doorknobs, and the very idea of redesigning the door is "marketing bullshit".



  • @blek said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    Sure, assuming you have a way to contact them, that they want to talk to you (do you fill out surveys from companies you bought stuff from?)

    In my experience, users are actually pretty willing to help you if they see you as a honest person or organization who is actually trying to make a good product and keeps in touch with its users, instead of a big faceless corporation lead by a bunch of executives who couldn't care less about what the users think about their product as long as they keep paying.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @anonymous234 said in After reading some UX stuff on Medium:

    In my experience, users are actually pretty willing to help you if they see you as a honest person or organization who is actually trying to make a good product and keeps in touch with its users, instead of a big faceless corporation lead by a bunch of executives who couldn't care less about what the users think about their product as long as they keep paying.

    Not just that, when you deal with real users the thing they almost always actually care about is their data, not the styling wrapped around it. This is good, because it is the styling that is the thing most likely to break if things go wrong. If you can get them their data in butt-ugly form, they'll figure out a different way to pretty it up. Turn up with just a pretty look and no actual useful data/capabilities, and the users will be much less happy.

    OTOH, Users != Managers


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