Invisible design is rare

Make no mistake, a product that wants your full attention all the time is to be avoided. People who co-manufacture this kind of software and behavior should be aware of the manipulation and take responsibility.

A product that wants to get out of your way as soon as the job is done is preferred.

Bad design is screaming “look at me, dude”.

Great design is invisible.

For example, Facebook’s desktop experience is badly designed. It’s so desperate to get your attention that all the make-up that they applied makes it as ugly as Gollum’s possessive behavior.

Basecamp’s desktop experience is well-designed. It contains tools to get the job done. And then it disappears and stays mute (on “standby”) just like a good servant should do.

Bottom line:

Intention shows.

Action reveals.

Facebook’s design is so ugly and crappy that you wouldn’t want to pay for it. It has to be free, otherwise nobody would use it.

Basecamp’s design is well done overall. It’s not perfect (it has flaws) but I’m happy to pay a hundred bucks a month for peace of mind.

While Facebook is free and costs you nerves, health, time, a negative modification of your behavior, and your sanity.

You’ll know best what’s best for you.

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