Obvious is Better Than Slick

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

How we achieve "simple design" for Basecamp and HEY - Signal v. Noise

Always choosing clarity over being slick or fancy. Internally we call this “Fisher Price” design. We aim to make the UI totally obvious and self explanatory, by keeping individual screens simple, showing only one focused thing at a time, and so on. Good product design eliminates the need for an instruction manual!

This is good advice. An obvious UI that looks okay is better than something super slick that it’s hard to use or figure out in the first place. Seems obvious, but it’s easy to get dragged into making something look great before you make it work well.

This isn’t me suggesting I’m holier than thou, it’s more me reminding myself in public.