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Memes in UI

It’s interesting to see how memes around UX/UI spread. Now having attended electronics shows over a number of years, it can become a blur as different headphones and tablets become less differentiated.

What’s curious is how quickly one idea can spread. One example from Hong Kong’s two simultaneous electronics shows (HK Electronics Fair and the Global Sources show) is the steampunk style typewriter USB keyboard.

In what appeared to be overnight, dozens of keyboard makers have all adopted the same design. There is no differentiation between them. This is the same amongst multiple other offerings at these shows that have just popped up.

Seth Godin had the adage (I think it was in Spreading the IdeaVirus) that what makes an idea remarkable is that someone is willing to remark about it. Boring doesn’t get mentioned. Things that are the same don’t get mentioned (unless they are remarkably the same). Bad can be just as remarkable as good.

The other adage was that “ideas that spread, win.” When it comes to UI/UX what makes something spreadable is that the new interaction brings much more delight to the user. That delight can come from voice or it can come from clickety keyboards.

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