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Sat, 13 Oct 2007
AIGA Next
Denver, CO

Annotated Version




                    Khoi Vinh
                    Subtraction...
About Me
Today’s Subject
Khoi Vinh
                           Subtraction.com




Why is interactive design
different from print design?
Khoi Vinh
                          Subtraction.com




The answer lies in control.
But First…
What Is Good Design?
Khoi Vinh
Narrative                  Subtraction.com




Historically, we’ve defined
good design as solutions
that also tel...
Khoi Vinh
                                             Subtraction.com




A handful of examples of narrative in good
design…
Khoi Vinh
Napoleon’s March to Moscow Charles Joseph Minard      Subtraction.com




                                      ...
Khoi Vinh
Priester Matches Lucien Bernhard                    Subtraction.com




                                        ...
Khoi Vinh
Harper’s Bazaar Alexey Brodovitch      Subtraction.com




                                    Publication desig...
Khoi Vinh
Concert Posters J. Müller-Brockmann                                     Subtraction.com




Narrative can also b...
Khoi Vinh
IBM 1975 Annual Report Paul Rand                        Subtraction.com




                                    ...
Khoi Vinh
Beach Culture David Carson      Subtraction.com




                             Narrative is such a
           ...
Khoi Vinh
Principles of Good Storytelling               Subtraction.com




• A coherent world view
• Fine-tuned managemen...
Khoi Vinh
What Do These Add up To?                      Subtraction.com




+ A coherent world view
+ Fine-tuned managemen...
Khoi Vinh
                             Subtraction.com




If narrative is the guiding
principle of traditional design,
th...
Khoi Vinh
                               Subtraction.com




But the guiding principle of
interactive media is not
narrati...
Khoi Vinh
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Designing for behavior
means transferring some
measure of control ...
Khoi Vinh
Or, Put Another Way…      Subtraction.com




Digital media is taking
control away from
designers.
Khoi Vinh
For Many Designers…     Subtraction.com




Many designers think:
“This is blasphemy!”
Khoi Vinh
                        Subtraction.com




“Designers must control the
 communication, because we
 know what we...
Khoi Vinh
                          Subtraction.com




“If we give people what they
 say they want, they’ll never
 get wh...
Khoi Vinh
“Don’t They Know This Is Bad?”      Subtraction.com




                                 A notorious example
   ...
Khoi Vinh
                                                 Subtraction.com




Undesigned sites like MySpace have been on
...
Khoi Vinh
                                               Subtraction.com




Over the past decade, users have rejected
man...
Khoi Vinh
Failed Techniques for Control                  Subtraction.com




Typographic requirements. (Very early on.)


...
Khoi Vinh
Failed Techniques for Control                  Subtraction.com




Rendering text as images instead of as HTML.
Khoi Vinh
Failed Techniques for Control                    Subtraction.com




Resizing browser windows or launching daugh...
Khoi Vinh
                                                   Subtraction.com




Linking a site’s functionality exclusivel...
Khoi Vinh
Failed Techniques for Control                   Subtraction.com




Counting on users to ‘learn how to use a sit...
Khoi Vinh
                          Subtraction.com




“If user control trumps all,
 aren’t we saying that design
 has no...
Khoi Vinh
                        Subtraction.com




No, actually. But to
understand why, we have to
look at behaviors.
Behaviors
Khoi Vinh
Given a Page of Text…     Subtraction.com




                        What can you do
                        wi...
Khoi Vinh
Content and Presentation Are Wedded                   Subtraction.com




In each case, it’s difficult to separat...
Khoi Vinh
   Subtraction.com




Given a block of text
on the Web, what
can you do with it?
Khoi Vinh
   Subtraction.com




• Enlarge it
Khoi Vinh
   Subtraction.com




• Click on it to go
  somewhere else
Khoi Vinh
   Subtraction.com




• Roll-over it to
  reveal other
  behaviors
Khoi Vinh
   Subtraction.com




• Re-render it in a
  different typeface
Khoi Vinh
   Subtraction.com




• Read it back via
  screen reader
Khoi Vinh
  Subtraction.com




• Comment on it
Khoi Vinh
   Subtraction.com




• Read it via RSS
  aggregator,
  completely stripped
  of its presentation
  layer
Khoi Vinh
   Subtraction.com




• Quote it liberally.
Khoi Vinh
   Subtraction.com




• Edit it (in Wiki
  form)
Khoi Vinh
Let’s Split Up                                   Subtraction.com




In digital media, presentation and content ...
Khoi Vinh
                                                  Subtraction.com




That’s not necessarily the case. What we’r...
Khoi Vinh
                                                 Subtraction.com




The challenge has changed. There are more
s...
Khoi Vinh
                                              Subtraction.com




The designer still has a job to do.
How does t...
What Are We Designing?
Khoi Vinh
                            Subtraction.com




Digital media is as different
from print as a speech is
differen...
Khoi Vinh
What They Have in Common                     Subtraction.com




They’re both exchanges of information
between p...
Khoi Vinh
Compare and Contrast                                       Subtraction.com




                       Print (Spe...
Khoi Vinh
                                                Subtraction.com




In fact, what we’re talking about here is th...
Khoi Vinh
                             Subtraction.com




Digital media looks like
writing, but it’s actually
conversation.
Khoi Vinh
Instant Messaging & Bulletin Boards = Conversation   Subtraction.com
Khoi Vinh
Email Looks Like a Document—But It’s Really Conversation   Subtraction.com
Khoi Vinh
Blogs                    Subtraction.com




Sometimes documentary,
almost always
conversational.
Khoi Vinh
Del.icio.us Is Conversation   Subtraction.com




Meta-sites enable
conversation through links,
tagging, micro-c...
Khoi Vinh
Traditional Documents Too   Subtraction.com




Traditional journalism
becomes a framework for
conversation.
Khoi Vinh
Social Context                                 Subtraction.com




The tension between print and digital is
embl...
Khoi Vinh
                                                  Subtraction.com




Writing transformed ancient peoples from t...
Khoi Vinh
                                                 Subtraction.com




In Medieval Europe, the failure of governme...
Khoi Vinh
                                              Subtraction.com




Gutenberg’s press pitted mass
communication ag...
Khoi Vinh
                                                 Subtraction.com




The PC transformed ‘cathedrals’ of informat...
Khoi Vinh
But They Need to Co-Exist                       Subtraction.com




This push and pull is essential to media
evo...
Khoi Vinh
                          Subtraction.com




Good narrative gives rise to
good conversations.
What’s Next
Khoi Vinh
                          Subtraction.com




Yes. People are looking for
traditional design values
online.
Khoi Vinh
From MySpace to Facebook                              Subtraction.com




It’s no accident that the shift is on ...
Khoi Vinh
Blueprint CSS                                     Subtraction.com




There’s a tremendous interest in grid-base...
Khoi Vinh
Technological Formalization of Traditional Design                    Subtraction.com




And this proposed speci...
Khoi Vinh
Technologists Seek Typography   Subtraction.com




“Fonts & Encodings” by
Yannis Haralambous
Contents include:
...
Khoi Vinh
Downloadable Typefaces                          Subtraction.com




Recent revisions to WebKit (Safari) allow fo...
Khoi Vinh
The Trend in Tools Is for More Control                                     Subtraction.com




As our tools prog...
Khoi Vinh
Good News                   Subtraction.com




Principles of good storytelling
still apply—with adjustment.
Khoi Vinh
People Want Traditional Design Values, But…   Subtraction.com




People are looking for
narrative design to be
...
Khoi Vinh
                         Subtraction.com




Users want to retain control
over their own experiences.
Khoi Vinh
                           Subtraction.com




Users also want their
experiences to be guided
and clear.
Khoi Vinh
                              Subtraction.com




There’s a compromise
between user control and
designer intenti...
Khoi Vinh
                          Subtraction.com




As our tools enable more
control, the expectation for
greater cont...
End
Khoi Vinh Napoleon’s March to
Khoi Vinh Napoleon’s March to
Khoi Vinh Napoleon’s March to
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Khoi Vinh Napoleon’s March to Control (Annotated)

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Khoi Vinh
Napoleon’s March to Moscow Charles Joseph Minard Subtraction.com




An information
graphic that is
transformed into
great graphic design
when narrative is
added.
Made famous by
Edward Tufte.

Published in: Design, Business
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  • I find it interesting that since this excellent presentation was written, the expectation for control among designers has, in some quarters at least, over shadowed and ignored the control demanded by the user. I'm thinking corporate websites especially.
    This area of mutual respect and 'conversation' seems to be at its best in the work created by some software and e-commerce businesses where the desired interaction IS almost the only measure of success.
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  • in one word 'brilliant'
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  • los amoooooooooooo
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