Designing for the world around you

Jamie Oliver continues his smart use of Instagram by posting an image of the new menu for his restaurant, find Fifteen:

One of his followers made a suggestion…

Anyway, pharm Jamie’s response was brilliant (if you can excuse the lack of punctuation)…

What I like about his reply, see apart from his passion and unwavering vision, is that he understands the role of the menu in its physical environment. The menu doesn’t have to do the entire job. As he says, a more important feature in the experience is the service provided and the advice given.

There are parallels here with design in the digital space — especially mobile. Too often, the temptation is to think that the thing you’re designing needs to carry the entire experience. That every possible feature should be crammed into an interface. When it comes to mobile services especially, the on-screen experience is only a part of it. The app should do as much as it needs to and no more.

Design means considering the role of each component, and in my opinion, like Jamie says, we should be allowing face-to-face interaction to breathe when it is a richer experience. Don’t build in social functionality if it’s easier for people to email each other. Don’t include all the information under the Sun if it’s easier, or more enjoyable for people to ask a question.

Everything you make is part of something bigger.

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