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I'm noticing an amusing trend in interface design lately (specifically, the aftermarket Mac market.) We undoubtedly have Quartz to thank for it (OS X's window 'Zoom' effect may in fact be the spiritual granddad of this whole movement.)

We are beginning the age of the truly superfluous interface effect. Like gratuitously superfluous.

Today, Daring Fireball points to this little gem: fun, interactive 'smokey' effects as you burn your CDs with Disco, a soon-to-market app for disc-burning. Totally unnecessary? Oh yeah. Will I leave the effect on anyway? Hell yeah!

Note this entry on the Disco blog, featuring the 'Enable superfluous effect' checkbox. Tee-hee.

Other data points: one of my favorite new apps (as in 'new to me') Quicksilver, also features a preference to toggle on 'Superfluous visual effects.' I like Quicksilver's effects so much that I've never turned them off, even just to see what the experience might be like with out the swooshes, winks and fades. If all I wanted was an App-launcher, then I'd be launching Excel from the Start-menu, eh?

And Apple's own Keynote is the new coin-fisted pimp on the superfluous block. Page peels, rotating 3D cubes, ripple waves.. the list goes on and on. Oh, and you can apply these effects to individual elements in a slide, not just to the transitions between slides. Powerpoint, what's my name, bitch!

Also... I'm experimenting with bringing comments back to Soldier Ant. Please try to sign in (sorry, Typekey account required) and share your favorite gratuitous visual effect.

Comments (2)

Great post. Please add superfluous interface effects to Soldier Ant.

Bryce [TypeKey Profile Page]:

Aha! If you only knew. A 3-word hint into my next mini-project: rotating Ajax taglines.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 16, 2006 3:22 PM.

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