The hardest-working designers and mostly the best design decisions are the ones that are never in the face and absolutely very hard to see.
Many of the best digital experiences acknowledge this fact and mostly designers will find it hard to articulate why some elements should be in the way they are. They are trained to anticipate, detect and assess behaviours, so that they can design elements that appeal the most.
Flashing banners can be distracting and that is why users hate it. Designers can play something to irritate or to avoid agitation, but every element they design is to elicit a response. Film directors use this trait for getting the responses all the time.
Usually, the more sophisticated visual effects are those that have a deep place in the narrative itself. These effects are subtle and invisible but they contribute immensely to the world around it. It is usually referred to as “suspension of disbelief”. Interaction design uses this idea of invisible design as “usability”.
Advent of the New Era of Design
In today’s hi-tech world, great digital products are being made but rarely are they usable. These gadgets blend in our lives and they are like the special effects technicians who try to make an impression. But the best designers try to get out of the way as soon as they can.
The visual design of our devices has reduced in complexity by a long margin and stripped all adornments for a well-balanced type with an invisible grid structure.
The software consisted of menus and endless sets of features a decade back. But now the apps are guided by several invisible swipes and unique gestures. Features have taken a background, and apps update themselves unobtrusively, GPS apps calculates routes when you go the wrong path while spell checkers add a red line. All the designers now work hard to make every feature subtle and come to the line of the sight rarely and only when needed.
Some Tips to Implement Invisible Design
- Design simply and with a specific purpose.
- Never embellish or add trendy elements to implement a technique forcibly
- Design little pieces for better seamless images and products
- Don’t overthink the design and rely on simplicity
Product Design Invisibility is Connected to Human Psychology
There is a shift towards invisible design as entire categories of products have now become automatic. A huge fleet of cars are now out in the street busy periods and managed by taxi service Uber while Nest monitors the environment for anomalies. Fitbit bands track health activity and number of products now run predictive processes to increase convenience measures.
Most of these products do not want to be flashy or on the face because the trend is on for invisible design and more convenience. Every product now functions on how human psychology works. Every headline exploits our natural psychological tics and many products and services try to integrate themselves in a helpful way by being invisible.
Invisible Design – the Expected Magic Trick!
Sleight of hand magic tricks are usually effective on kids as well as adults. Years of experience always train the mind that when there is a coin in a hand, it should be there itself. But when it isn’t there, it leads you to question a fundamental universal law. This act becomes entertaining because each one of us try to figure out about the trick and how it is done.
The magician has to practice the trick many times to get it right and even used misdirection to distract you perfectly at the opportune moment.
- Designers design for the fact that users carry expectations of how the world works and hence the design of UI transitions are mostly familiar and tweaked for complete smoothness.
- Design works with how real objects behave. Artificial animations usually result in a jarring experience and does not appeal.
- All designers aim for a polished performance that feels effortless and keeps every aspect rooted in reality.
- The complex machinations are hidden and present a deceptively simple facade. There is an emotional connect with the features and the design capitalizes on the same.
- Design is all about clarity and how it affects the users psychologically.
The Sense of Reaction and Credibility with Invisible Design
Emotions related to objects give a sense of credibility. Impossible illusions are sometimes right under the noses and humans in general do not like complexity and chores hence invisible design aims to free up brain cycles for paying attention to incredible and interesting things.
- Invisible design is never about adding several layers or imbuing hidden meanings to projects.
- As much of good design is about “feeling right,” it is when users engage and interact with it that they feel good.
- It is important to know that Good design is always invisible and it rules the invisible world of interaction design connecting the information architecture in the bargain.
- It follows the adage of minimum input and maximum output.
With invisible design approach, designers create an experience with known design tools and never judge the end design since it is for the wider audience to react to colour theory, text spacing or typography. Designers get all the elements and try to make them cohesive, usable and interesting in more ways than one.
Keval Padia is a Founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing mobile app development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lure him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.