I like big icons… Am I getting old?

So recently Sasha (my better half) and I disconnected our television service.  We now have what he lovingly calls a “media center” – a big screen television hooked up to a computer where we keep our movies, photos, files and connect to the Internet.  At home this Monday night, I noticed [that to help our visibility] he had changed our “media center’s” settings so that all of the icons and type on the screen were HUGE. \n\nGuess what?  I loved it!!  I suddenly thought to myself…’Wait a second… super large icons and type are usually recommended for elderly users… Am I getting old?’ \n\nThe answer to that question is complicated, but for the sake of this discussion, let’s just say, no.  ‘Big’ websites [and website content] are not only becoming more prevalent these days, but a reflection of a social phenomenon that is implicit of this technologically-driven generation.  People are unable to consume tons of information.  You can give them tons of info, but guess what they’re not going to read it.   This is the end product of an era that is beyond saturated by new forms of media — a modern brain trained to skim through everything and read nothing.  Have you by chance noticed how much more difficult it is to read a book? (Great article to that effect…) \n\nNow this saturation has been the case for the last five (5) years or so… why now is the web getting into BIG?  Well, web professionals are now becoming smarter about conveying complex actions, information, and emotions using less “stuff”.  Gone is the day when a disco ball of a Flash movie won the hearts of users and professionals alike.  Big, clear and simple HTML wins.  People go online to seek information, that’s it.  One’s ability to deliver that quickly and clearly means the difference between an effective website, portal or application, versus a website that is cool for cool’s sake. \n\nAs the web leaves its partygoing 20s and moves into its more mature 30s, the insecurities that led it to mask itself in bad make up (pointless graphics) and talk too much (pages overwhelmed with text) make the way for a self-confident straight-shooter.  The thirty-something web uses big, simple icons, short text, and wastes less time on fruitless meanderings. It speaks clearly, simply and in a way that EVERYONE can understand.  For instance, think about traffic signs anywhere in the world.  Big, simple symbols that mean stop, go, walk, etc… in anybody’s language… THIS is the future of the interface!\n\nSo case in point… It’s the web that’s getting old, not me. (whew!)   Then again, my birthday is around the corner…

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1 Comment

You are simply seeing the same division that occurred with Murdoch popular culture newsprint and more researched periodicals. A sage, that took the time to read through your “epiphany”, knew that you were “old” the minute you confessed to having a media center.


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