I had breakfast with CateÂ Huston and I told her that I was working on a blog post called â€œShould you build an app or a website?â€ She opined that perhaps mobile apps, both native and web, are better because they haveÂ constraints. When you have a small screen, you have to have a good UI. You canâ€™t offer users every possibility, you have to make some decisions and choices for them on what they might want to do.
Cate talked about an art teacher who constrains kids to black and white charcoal, then to a drawing started to someone else and then to a drawing torn in half. They are more creative and come up with more inspired work because they have artificial constraints.
When I think about really single purpose, simple websites, I think about Google’s home page.
There’s a few apps like that too.
What do you think? What would your website look like if you knew that everyone had to look at it through a 640×320 screen and could only interact with it using touch sensitive gloves because it was raining ice chunks outside?
2 Replies to “For good design add constraints to your web page”
“What would your website look like if you knew that everyone had to look at it through a 640Ã—320 screen and could only interact with it using touch sensitive gloves because it was raining ice chunks outside?”
The problem is designing with this mindset will cripple *everyone* as though they’re typing through gloves and are on low resolution screens.
Artificial constraints are a great *creative* excercise and for *art* they can produce wonderful results. From an engineering point of view, an added constraint is yet another compromise that will have to be made.
I agree it shouldn’t be a hard restraint for all websites. But I think the exercise helps focus on what users really need to do. A lot of times in software we try to make all possible options available to the user which only makes things more confusing. Sometimes it’s because we want to empower them and other times it’s because we don’t really know what they are trying to do. This exercise makes you go find out what they need to do.
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