6 thoughts on “(too) Minimalist design”

  1. I actually thought this was a brilliant design for a radio. Sure, there’s no obvious affordance telling users to pull the knob upwards to turn it on, but once a user figures it out (playing with it for a bit might reveal the fact that to turn it on you pull it up), I think it’s easy (and fun!) to use. Once turned on, while there’s no clear indication as to which way to turn the knob to increase the volume, I would think that the audio feedback from the speaker (which was just revealed when the knob was pulled up to turn the radio on) would be enough to let users know how to increase or decrease the volume.

  2. Agreed–I actually really like this design. I think a minimal design aesthetic is too often neglected 🙂 There probably should have been a question mark after the title.

  3. is there a class of users or product types for which the minimal design aesthetic is appropriate?

  4. Looks like a fun concept – but this type of super-minimalist design always irks me.. as it seems to be the extreme other end of the whole flexibility-usability tradeoff principle of design — as functionality increases usability descreases. It only has two functions, but looks surprisingly unintuitive from a user perspective (perhaps largely because the expectations set from devices we’re used to dealing with). Sure, once we use it we can get the hang of it pretty quick, but can we really commend a design from a HF standpoint if it has such a blatant lack of affordances?

    I think of ipods similarly: everyone talks about the great simplicity and usability of their design (which can no doubt be learned quick), but if you observe a first-time user of an ipod try to simply play a song, not to mention someone from a non-high-tech generation, it isn’t pretty.

  5. Good points. I think the popularity of Apple products is not solely driven by (questionably) good, minimalist design, but buzz generated by good advertising/marketing (which is obviously independent of good or bad usability).

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