Less and more in the design

Source: Internet
Author: User
Tags minimalist design

Less is much is the mantra of many designers, it was first made by architectural master Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, is a kind of advocating simple, against the excessive decoration of the design concept. On this basis, continuous designers to improve the idea and a new interpretation, now it has become a design community, a basic theory and guidelines. Proponents of the theory argue that using minimalist design to remove unnecessary details can make products and users more profitable and produce better results.

In the traditional industry, there are many success stories about less is.

In 1979, Sony found that most users needed more than recordings to play, so they removed the recording capabilities of traditional recorders and even removed the external speakers that were deemed essential at the time. Then the rest is done in a small box and equipped with stereo headphones. This is the Walkman Walkman that is popular all over the world.

1984, IBM on the basis of mouse and trackball, the simplification of the structure, the invention of the TrackPoint (small Red Hat), in the mobile device effectively replaced the mouse function, and solve the trajectory of the ball occupy too large space and so on shortcomings. Now TrackPoint has become the hallmark of the ThinkPad notebook, and similar designs have been applied to many other brands of laptops.

In 2007, Apple streamlined the phone's buttons and even cut off the entire physical keyboard, launching the iphone. Led a revolution in smartphones around the world.

These are the great successes of less's ideas. But in the actual design work, sometimes we can make some mistakes because we don't understand the thought deeply enough. Therefore, the specific design is whether the less or more, or should be based on the actual situation to decide. For example, here are some examples:

One, Baidu commercial product of some place detail

In Baidu's promotion of Phoenix Nest This system, an account like the basic structure: Account > Promotion Program > Promotion Unit > Keywords. As shown in figure:

In other words: An account can have a number of "promotional plans", a promotional program, there can be multiple "promotional units", a promotional unit, can have multiple "keywords." Now that PM needs a new feature, he offers a sketch like this:

PM explained, "I need a locator." Allows users to choose to navigate to the "full account", a "promotional program", a "promotional unit" or a "keyword". A simple painting, the spirit of ' less is more ' principle, I put them together. ”

I looked puzzled and asked: "If I want to locate the full account, how do I operate?"

PM replied: "The whole account, you do not choose anything, directly point to" view. ”

Me: "Halo ..."

This is a more typical example of streamlining the content on the interface but losing the user experience. Although this design is the most concise and most provincial space, but did not express the function here. Later, after discussion, it was changed to resemble the following:

That is, add 4 options before the original Drop-down box and the input box. These 4 options, respectively, correspond to the 4 different levels that can be analyzed, and only after the hierarchy is selected will the specific selection control below that level appear below. Such changes, the user's task is divided into two steps: 1, choose their own to analyze which level. 2, select the specific Analysis object. Although the process has become longer, the number of clicks has increased, and the elements on the interface have become more complex, but the benefits are obvious, that is, the whole process has become simpler and smoother, and the user can operate with almost no thought. So more on the interface element instead of improving the actual user experience. It's like the one in Don T made me think: "It doesn't matter how many clicks you click, as long as each click is a clear and unambiguous choice." ”

Second, the text in italics on the page

In many English web pages, designers choose to turn some text into italics. For English, in some specific font, italic character will be more beautiful, at the same time, this effect on some specific occasions also bear a certain special meaning. In Wikipedia, for example, italic characters are often used to write titles or annotation classes, as shown in the following illustration:

In the screenshot above "This article are about the line of ..." is the nature of the annotation, not the body of the iphone, so Wikipedia uses italic characters. Reasonable use of these styles, can improve the reader's reading efficiency, but also to improve the aesthetic degree.

But in the case of italics itself, I don't think it's very suitable for Chinese web pages. The reason is very simple, in the Chinese web page comparison common 12px font size, Italic Chinese character recognition will become worse. For example, the image below is a screenshot of two different languages of the same function control on an airline website (in order to make the problem more obvious, I chose Traditional Chinese):

From the screenshot we can clearly see that the left side of the English version, in the Arial font, italic character performance is good. See Clearly, and beautiful. But the right side is more tragic. The 12px italicized word in Chinese, with the italic style, has a severe decline in recognition (which is a bit like what Ludwig Mies van der Rohe called "Over Decoration"). In particular, some gestures more Chinese characters, will appear stacked together the situation.

Obviously, in this example, the design of the Chinese version, should be more less, remove the italic style experience will be better.

Third, play button and phone key

In many electronic products, the designer uses a triangular symbol to the right to represent the play key. This is already an industry standard, we see this symbol, it will naturally produce correct cognition. So when you design a similar function again, we can use this symbol directly:

In the 3 completely different playback software shown above, we can easily find the button that represents the playback function, and do not need to indicate "play" 2 words under the graph. This saves space and conveys our definition of functionality. Here the less achieved more effect.

But does this mean that when you design a button for a product, you can use the less way of providing only graphics and no text? The answer must be in the negative. Like what:

This is a brand of telephone above the button, who can guess the number of keys above the 3 keys to the specific meaning? In particular, the 1th and 3rd, in addition to the designer of this product, most users can not draw accurate conclusions in the first time. For users who use the product specifically, they face not only functional confusion, but more importantly, when they operate the product, they will have no expectation of what will happen when they press these keys. If not expected, many users will choose not to try at all, so even if the function itself is useful, it is difficult to successfully promote. If our less is based on the cost of expressing the uncertainty, it deviates from the original intention of less. In such a detail, I think it is still to consider the text on the button below, or, directly to replace the graphic text to express.


1, simple design in many times can make the product use more fluent and efficient, can let the user experience better.

2, but sometimes we do not understand the less is more thorough understanding of this sentence. It was intended to oppose "excessive decoration" rather than "simplicity".

3, less is not only simple on the UI, more important, is the process, the cognitive level of simple ease of use. If the process is messed up to streamline the UI, it's worth the candle.

4, the core of the principle, or the classic don ' t make me say.

Author: Xidea

Article Source: Baidu Ued

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