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Smashing Book #4 — New Perspectives on Web Design by Smashing Magazine

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Designing Adaptive Interfaces

By Aaron Gustafson

Illustration Aaron Gustafson

Design as a concept, is a tricky little beast. On the one hand, a well-designed object should be attractive, but on the other it must also be easily understood and highly usable. For a design to be successful, these two facets must be in balance. When aesthetics trump usability, the resulting work serves the designer — by being a vehicle for self-expression — not the consumer. Similarly, when a project sacrifices aesthetics for usability, the resulting work can be uninspiring, pedestrian even. People will use it, but they won’t love it.

Pleasurable designs are not necessarily usable. But need these ...

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