Progressive Reduction

by Tom Kenny (@tkenny)

Our Signposting button starts out as a large icon with a label. When you’ve demonstrated proficiency, we remove the label. After you’ve become a total pro, we de-emphasize the button altogether. Other examples include variations on labels, size, contrast, and color.

LayerVault creates a proficiency profile for every user. We do so by providing positive forces to get you into the right process, and when you’re an expert, we get out of your way. At the moment it’s limited, but you can imagine how useful having a report card for each user might be.

This is interesting. I’m not sure it’s necessarily good but it is interesting. I’m not sure what you’re gaining from reducing the interface slightly over time. I know it’s something that has been discussed in the gaming world but I’m not sure if I’ve seen it in action, or at least I haven’t ever noticed it if I’ve come across it.

Your proficiency in a product will decay over time without usage. As such, the proficiency reflected in the UI decays over time. Essentially, your UI regresses without usage.

It seems like something that could be great but only if executed well.


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by Tom Kenny

I’m a freelance web designer and front-end developer with over 7 years of experience designing for the web. Follow me on Twitter here.