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Designing the Middle?

User experience design might be described as the ‘middle’, the conduit between a complex system and the humans that need to interact with it.

The idea of ‘the middle’ also comes from Zeldman’s idea of a middle ground between style and design, addressed in his seminal essay “Style vs Design” (sadly now only available through archive.org):

“Many young web designers view their craft the way I used to view pop culture. It’s cool or it’s crap … Not enough designers are working in that vast middle ground between eye candy and usability where most of the web must be built.”

I’m proud to be operating in that space. It is the essential area that must be seized by designers in order to incrementally and progressively raise the bar of real world design and user experiences.


Rick Monro is a consultant and designer living in Belfast, Northern Ireland and is a Principle UX Architect at Puppet.

He writes on this blog and elsewhere in print and online, including .Net magazine and Smashing Magazine.

Rick is also a syllabus consultant and lecturer for the Digital Marketing Institute and a former part-time lecturer for at the University of Ulster, contributing to the Interactive Multimedia Design degree course. 

He is an enthusiastic member of the UX and design community, speaking at events such as UX Scotland, and can regularly be found joining the lively discussions at UXBelfast and Refresh.

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