Thursday, December 28, 2006

Fake Interfaces

I want to see a website that makes you think you're navigating it, when it fact it's presenting you with information the designer had already decided on. If you clicked on a link, it might take that into account when deciding what to show you, but it wouldn't really be your decision.

A more concrete manifestation might look like this: if a web developer knows that users only visit a fourth of the links in the menu, the developer could multiply the number of links by four and just make sure not to present a user the same page twice. The website would appear much more complex than it actually is.

1 comment:

Jason LaPorte said...

There is a game I once played, called Photopia. In one segment of the game, you are an astronaut, landing on a failed Mars colony to salvage what you can.

The author wanted the player to be able to freely explore the colony... yet, he also wanted to tell a story, so he wanted to get the player to visit nodes in a certain order.

The result was that the colony nodes didn't have any ordering until you moved into an area you've never been before. As soon as you did, the next node the author wanted you to visit would appear and you'd go there. It was all very seamless, I only realized it since when I played, I did a pathological sweep of the area.

But it did satisfy both his exploration and his storytelling requirements.