Rob Morris on “underdesigning:”
Interfaces and experiences I encounter everyday from my coffee cup to my computer, the desk it sits on, to the chair I sit on are all underdesigned. I know this because I rarely pay them any mind at all — except, of course, on the rare occasions when they don’t work how I’d like.
It’s unfortunate that failures in a design tend to be more noticed consciously than successes. That’s because when something’s succeeding, good designers don’t want you to notice the thought that’s gone into making it. Like Michael Caine’s performance, you should be immersed in the experience, not its delivery. Whether it’s to communicate a message or facilitate an action, design should never get in the way of itself.
At its core, design is about helping you achieve your goal, and making the process as pleasant and easy as possible. Decoration and eye candy should never get in the way of that.