Fluidity

In this article I want to write about fluidity in the context of design. Firstly, I will define what fluidity means to me, then describe examples of fluid design. Lastly I want to bring attention to tools which have potential for improvements from this perspective.

Let's start with the definition. As per the Oxford dictionary fluidity means:

the ability of a substance to flow easily

When we think about our life, it would make sense to embed this quality in every human creation. This way our focus remains on the task at hand and not on the tool we use.

For instance, let's observe a chef in a kitchen. When she wants to cut the tomatos, she picks up a knife. The shape of the knife already shows her how to hold it and how to cut with it, so she does not need to think about it. While she is cutting, she is also getting continuous feedback about her progress. Using this feedback she can adjust her posture, speed and etc.

Another example in the world of information technology is sending a mail. Our goal is to communicate with somebody else in a form of message. We don't want to think about how the mail is sent or how to setup the font so that it is readable for the other person.

This sounds logical, but still so many things around us are complicated to use. Some mail clients distract us with popups and options we need to choose from. Next time you design a tool, think of the end goal of the target auidence and how you could facilitate fluidity during task execution.