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    It’s important to have interfaces that are satsifying to use, sure, but that satisfaction is primarily because we’ve been trained to associate indicators of action with actual accomplishment.

    I worry that if visual indicators of change aren’t made representative of underlying change, we’ll get a kind of hedonic treadmill where the inherent pleasantness of placebo buttons drive increasingly flashier interfaces for the same activities – in other words, requiring more attention and more computing resources to do less. (Basically, that gamifying interaction itself will produce perverse incentives.)

    The big problem regarding design & user empowerment is that users are unnecessarily limited in their actual power – can’t fix problems with applications (even open source ones) without going through the gauntlet of becoming a ‘real programmer’, can’t customize their own interfaces (stuck with preset options of color palette & text size made by a designer who doesn’t know their needs), fed into a stream of false dilemmas where every possibility is what benefits the designer instead of what benefits the user. Just making interfaces more fun to use won’t fix that.

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      Love the title. Good titles are hard. The first couple of paragraphs are solid.

      Good design is important. It’s where the product interacts with real people.