I watched Edward Tufte’s “Interface design and the iPhone” video and something about his voice sounded really familiar. Then it hit me: Compare it to Gene Simmons’ voice (his audio from that infamous interview he did with Terry Gross on NPR). They even strike a similar pose when, um, presenting information.
Edward Tufte sounds like Gene Simmons
Matt Linderman wrote this on Jan 29 2008 14 comments
Austin Kleonon 29 Jan 08
That was choice. How hilarious!
Imuluson 29 Jan 08
AWESOME! You are dead on. Are you sure they aren’t the same person?
Don Schenckon 29 Jan 08
And Ty Pennington sounds like Daffy Duck.
Thomas Paineon 29 Jan 08
Thanks for skewering this guy. He’s a pompous blowhard. His ideas for improving the iPhone are just plain bad despite the absolute certain confidence he presents them with.
Tim Caseon 29 Jan 08
...and do you ever notice how Edward Tufte and Gene Simmons are never in the same room together…
Jamieon 29 Jan 08
I enjoyed his video, but the idea for the weather map was ludicrous. People want to know “will it rain today” as quickly as possible. They don’t want to spend hours trying to interpret looping radar images.
Markon 29 Jan 08
To me he sounded more like the venerable Dr. Sbaitso
Joga Luceon 29 Jan 08
@ Matt : I think you may be on to something. Gene Simmons definitely knows something.
@ Thomas Paine : I didn’t think this was really skewering. Its pointing out a humorous similarity to the timbre of their voices. To be skewering, it would have to be a negative comparison.
+@ Jaime : I fail to see how his suggestions for improvement were failures?
The weather page still had the same instant access data on the screen, how does it detract from the ability of people to tell ‘will it rain today’ as quickly as possible?
His suggestion for the market screen likewise removed no data, and added no clutter.
His other suggestion was to add translucency to the button bar on the web browsing page.
I’m curious as to how these are just plain bad ideas? The implementation I can agree with, but I think the point was more proof than actual spec work.
Reminds me of a song I once heard : “Haters want to Hate, Lovers want to Love”.
Matt Careyon 29 Jan 08
He is a true show-man. I remember hearing him speak in Boston in 1999. He really put on a good show to a room full of typographers and type designers, some of whom were very skeptical of him. He put under the chair of every delegate an A3 print of the Russian campaign map, which was a great gesture. I still have mine.
I don’t agree with plenty of his views but he does put on a good show.
Jamieon 29 Jan 08
@Joga, because the information that most people want was shrunken and given just one quarter of the screen, making it harder to read – concept or not.
I’m not saying that more information can’t be put onto the Weather widget, but not to the degree in which Tufte suggests.
Joga Luceon 29 Jan 08
@ Jaime : I disagree. It would still just as easy to read weather it will rain or not is still represented by a visual icon, that is both color and shape encoded for quick visual recognition.
None of this of course takes into account any interactivity, potential user customization, or refinement of the design, we’re merely discussing the static screen that was created as a first draft mock up for a proof.
Jamieon 30 Jan 08
I think you are missing something – tufte squeezed the 5 day forcast into just one corner of the screen. Not just todays weather.
and then the looping radar images take up half the screen – entirely the wrong way round for most users. Who apart from seasoned weather forecasters can interpret wind formations and patterns over time? there is no doubt that it provides “detail”, but just not for the right audience.
Matton 30 Jan 08
This question may sound flip, but is not meant to be—does Tufte do any research (usability) on the things that he designs? Per Jamie’s point, who’s the iPhone designed for and what do the need it to do?
Lee Honeycutton 03 Feb 08
Edward Tufte doesn’t have much room to talk about interface design. He’s a wonderful theorist of information design, but not much of a practitioner. His own website is horribly designed and almost impossible to navigate. Instead of critiquing the interface of others, he should evaluate and improve his own.
This discussion is closed.