Bob Ricca

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Fish Out Of Water

A first impression of Medium.com.


Originally published on Medium.com

Here I am, trying out Medium.com for the first time. I'm excited to be part of this website. Weeks ago I stumbled upon an article published here for the first time. I was impressed. It's become a recurring theme in my day to stumble upon quality content within these walls. Kudos to all the many authors publishing thought provoking content.

Accompanied by my morning coffee, I venture on to set up my account. "We'd like you to write on Medium" the email read. Clicking the link within presented me with a crisp white interface representing the blank slate of what would later evolve into this article. It wasn't until later that I received an email explaining to me that "There's nothing to set up or customize".

Simplistic interface design is a beautiful thing. As I type this article on my retina Macbook, the letters are so crisp and clean the article almost writes itself. However, perhaps do to the complexity of most web apps in today's culture it was hard for me to get to this point.

"Do I set up an author bio? I remember the other articles I read had something of that nature... or at least I think. Am I doing this right? Where is everything?... whatever, just keep going."

Between when I first responded to my invitation and the publishing of this very article there have been an array of complex emotions swirling through my head.

The Medium interface is beautiful, and I'm happy to report that while I continue to write this article my comfort level is rising. It reminds me that as designers and software engineers there is an interesting balance we must strike.

For every layer of expected UI we strip away from our interfaces, we're increasing uncertainty within our users and adding cognitive load.

I'll be the first to admit that I am not frequently an author and I'm sure many can sympathize with the anxieties of writing words publicly. Not only am I taking a leap into the unknown by writing, but I'm also tackling the learning curve of new software. If I'm being honest, it's humbling to be on the other side of the fence for once.

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