I’m sitting here with Mike and Cait. This panel is in Ballroom A, one of the bigger rooms they’re using for panels. The panel will be led by Microsoft’s Mike Kruzeniski. With 15 minutes to go the room’s about 40% full.
10:23 They just started playing Sweet Disposition in the playlist before the panel starts…thanks. In fact, the playlist in Ballroom A is pretty sweet this morning. Had to get out Shazaam to figure out one of the songs.
10:29 Kruzeniski has a PowerPoint presentation ready to go. I think the typography will be pretty great.
10:30 Kruzeniski is starting. Room’s about 80% full.
10:34 Kruzeniski is a designer at Microsoft. He works on the Windows phone.
10:35 He’ll cover how the visual languages of interfaces have been shaped, why interfaces need a new approach to visual design, why we can learn from print design.
10:36 Kruzeniski is interested in principles print designers use and how those principles can be applied to interactive design.
10:36 A history of: Kruzeniski talks about Vanevar Bush’s Memex machine. He’s got a graphic of it up on the screen. All our materials and documents are stored in the machine and can be accessed and worked with.
10:38 Kruzeniski is talking about the start of Xerox. How Xerox used for the interface design metaphors of objects we recognize in a desk…scissors, knife, pen, etc. Xerox’s Star Interface.
10:40 Apple started to really push the idea of using familiar, desktop objects in the design. He’s got a picture of Apple’s calculator in an early operating system. He’s talking about ‘recreating’ physicality. It’s almost a virtual world with halls and buildings. But it was abandoned.
10:41 As screen resolution improved, designers continued to recreate physicality.
10:42 Kruzeniski is talking about Apple and Microsoft’s operating system circa 2000 until the present. Designers are creating icons for things that aren’t tangable. Designers have to make them physical in some way…relatable.
10:43 Our physical metaphors aren’t making so much sense any more as designers push limits of design. He’s got an image of a 3-D desktop-like interface. The recreating of physical-ness is starting to get a little odd.
10:45 Hyperrealism is the dominant aesthetic. Ergonomics, usability, cognition are primary concerns.
10:46 The web presents a different type of UI. Interfaces were stripped down. It became all about the information sent and received.
10:48 some web interfaces are out of control and have more information than they should. He’s got a screenshot of Amazon up…haha.
10:48 Information as UI…i love this idea.
10:50 We’ve gotten to such glossy textures in elements like icon design. It’s kitschy. (I’m thinking of my iPhone interface design from last semester…haha).
10:51 Information and artifact UI are converging. Resolution is increasing. We can accurately render typography. We can approach and design elements more elegantly.
10:52 Now that we’re giving up books, why don’t we start thinking about them differently? Especially as designers. These items need a new form of expression. Information is changing this. We want to express and render information more so than the kitsch of the design.
10:54 He just mentioned Massimo Vignelli. I like this guy.
10:54 Print design has a much longer history than does interactive design. There is a huge wealth of design we can pull from for inspiration when designing for information based user interface.
10:55 Kruzeniski believes the Swiss style of graphic design was when print design ‘snapped.’ It was the turning point when we started to think about ‘what have we learned from these hundreds of years of print design?’ Even after we moved on from the Swiss style, elements like the grid system remained.
10:56 Why has interaction design moved away principles of recent print design, which is built on hundreds of years of experience? Why are not all of our screens as ordered as they should be?
10:59 Confident use of negative space. Kruzeniski believes it’s scary. (And I would agree, and I also agree and think we don’t use negative space enough).
11:00 Objectivity through imagery. The use of images in design. And using it well to tell part of the story.
11:01 Uncompromising focus on typography. Really use typography to create flow and rhythm. It creates an energy and story just through type.
11:02 Proportion and Pacing. Our interfaces a lot of times seem stale and boring. He has images of branding materials from American Airlines.
11:03 Universal Iconography.
11:06 Kruzeniski has been showing some interfaces that have been improved by going back to ‘inspired by’ print design. He showed American Airlines’ website. The windows phone that went from being covered in icons to stripped down to some text. Really beautiful (and surprising for me to see that from Mircosoft).
11:10 Kruzeniski is showing a clip from the film Helvetica. The clip shows how kitschy print design was in the 50s then compares it to the rise of the use of Helvetica. I’m seeing some parallels with our current interaction design to how things were in the 1950s.
11:12 Flat is the new black. 2-D is the new avant garde. – Steven Poole
11:13 We should treat the surface like a print surface.
11:14 What we need: the want to use and consume print design, the designers need to take up the practice of print design, the process-we need to think about visual design from the start. Visual design is the end of the waterfall, but it should be thought about from the beginning.
What do we get: more beautiful products, beautiful brands
11:18 Kruzeniski just finished up.
I’m really inspired right now. I feel like I’m a different designer now. Totally new approach to designing for me. Really transformative ideas. I’m rethinking a lot of my design ideas and what I’ll likely do going forward. A lot of what Kruzeniski talked about spoke to some tendencies and desires in myself as a designer that I haven’t been able to put a finger on or describe. He made a lot of good arguments for these new conventions; type for interaction rather than a button, getting away from the physicality of what we design. And maybe the most illuminating parallel was 1950s print design versus print design under the Swiss/International style and what the Internet looks like today.