September 7, 2014

PATRIC HOFFMAN WHAT TECHNICAL WRITING TAUGHT ME ABOUT DESIGN

Last week i had the chance to signup for a talk by Patric Hoffman from Google. The title was very unique and peaked my interest What Technical writing taught me about design. I thought to myself How could technical writing have anything to do with UI today but as we all know the inspiration for good design can be found anywhere and in almost anything. 5 mins into the talk i realised that this guy was actually making a lot of sense and he was instrumental for the textless based instruction manuals that were published by HP. After HP he joint google which was as you all remember looked like this:

He went on to refining their style and was put onto the maps project. How i love the way the google maps have turned out today. And if you remember the gradual change that occurred over time some of would would definitely agree that the transition was so subtle you would not have know that they were using us to test out new functionality and features while launching new variations of the maps.

Yes! What was really interesting about the talk was the way Google determines what good design is. Although the dont disregard the gut feeling, good design seems to be number based. If 70% of the people seem to react to sunflower designs then its sunflower designs they would go for. Google has the most amazing ways of testing design.

He went on to talk about the way google was running tests on the Android version of the car navigation system that they also spoke about in the Google IO. Very interesting! He also talked a lot about usability and user experience and basically debunked the demographic method to design and gave us a more universal approach to what people like and what people expect from an interface. Below are the takeaways from the talk:

All in all, great talk and i recommend heading out to one of Partics talks if hes in town!