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Designing for configuration

People have preferences.

Nothing shocking about that sentence. But in design we tend to be overly opinionated about what’s right – forcing our own preferences on our users.

Where it matters, good design can do a lot of the heavy lifting, making people’s lives more simple, functional and even enjoyable.

For smaller details: such as font sizing; background colours, etc; why does it matter what the user prefers? Why don’t we allow them to configure the system?

I’ve been juggling this idea for a while, and with the topic of theming starting to mature, it feels like now is the right time to explore the limitations of this approach.

In my upcoming projects I’m going to try and embrace configuration, customisation, preferences, and see where it takes the designs.

I’m excited to learn:

  • where it breaks
  • how it changes user’s experiences
  • if it can scale
  • at what point brand identity get’s diluted
  • and others I can’t foresee

I’ll keep you posted with how I get on, but for now, this feels like an exciting opportunity to explore.

Published on

October 01, 2019