Skip to main content

This week I used an accordion (by Adam Silver)

Visit external resource

I loved this insight into Adam Silver’s thought process. And it came at a timely moment since at work I’m currently trying to promote evidence-based, considered choices regarding user interface patterns.

My summary of Adam’s key points is:

  • he found a UI pattern (let’s call it pattern x) in his project and flagged that while it’s not always bad it risks numerous usability problems. He lists these problems.
  • he advises that pattern x is beneficial only in very specific situation y
  • and that otherwise, pattern x is unnecessary and a more basic solution would not only require less work but provide a better user experience
  • given this context, he asks others working on the project the following:
    • can they explain why pattern x was used?
    • did research (really) indicate a need? (this implicitly also asks if evidence or research was considered at all)
    • what else was tried beforehand? (this also subtly checks for awareness of the risks of pattern x and whether other options were even considered)
    • even if the use case was appropriate, given the downsides of pattern x were you comfortable the benefits outweigh those?

Adam also mentions how on this occasion, in the end, he had to grudgingly stick with pattern x because even though there were possible alternatives, his team didn’t have time to research or implement them. A familiar dose of real life, there. It’s worth being clear, though, that their implementation of pattern x (an accordion) is at least accessible, since as far as I can tell it uses their modern accordion design system component. If that were not the case, I imagine it’d be even less viable to leave it in place.

External Link Bookmark Note Entry Search