menu

Web Design Tool Provides Booze-Free Beer Goggles

Web Design Tool Provides Booze-Free Beer Goggles
technology

Usability test allows professionals to employ 'drunk vision' without touching a drop

Janet Burns
  • 22 july 2014

The days of forcing poor web designers to get sauced in order to perfect a product are over as a new onscreen user interface test can simulate blurred vision and the spins minus the hangover.

Drunk User Testing, developed by renaissance software engineer Ryan Closner, is a free and easy-to-use program that muddles and skews the appearance of a screen; this makes its contents harder to navigate and gives the user a pretty authentic woozy feeling, too. Conveniently, it can be test-driven on the website or conveniently installed in your bookmarks bar with only one click (“protip: press the ‘escape’ button to sober up”).

Sample Screenshot of D.U.T.

An experienced designer himself, Closner offers up the app as an antidote to an all-too-common error: when designers have spent so much time building a product usable for the average person “that [they] forgot to cater to the lowest common denominator — the true test of user experience — the user when they’re drunk.”

Many web developers seem to agree that testing a product’s usability under the influence of alcohol is a worthwhile practice. Blogger Terence Eden stresses the importance of noting the potential effects of intoxication while designing a successful interface, arguing that ‘beer goggles’ mimic various kinds of concentration loss:

Users have many demands on their time – being distracted by a phone ringing, or an incoming email, or a bright and shiny object [… this] has the same effect as being drunk. They return to the user interface with reduced thinking capacity.

According to anecdotal studies but also common experience, navigating complex websites and apps while under the influence of alcohol, stress, or distraction can be difficult. As Eden and others suggest, a ‘drunk test’ can weed out a UI’s trickiest hurdles and even adapt the font size and color scheme of a product to be friendlier to compromised eyes.

Browsing With Beer

Eden goes on to argue that designers are spending too much time considering the context of a product — a smartphone, for example — and not enough time considering the user’s potential situation. “We rarely say ‘let’s introduce a left-handed option’ or ‘do we need a night reading mode?’ or ‘does the user have time to concentrate on this UI while driving?'” he explains. “The user should be at the heart of our decision making, and her context should feature heavily in our conversations about UI.”

Images: YouTube

 

technology
Trending

Plastic Wind Trees Are Bringing Sustainable Power To Residential Homes

Design
Work Today

Amazon Is Experimenting With A 30-Hour Work Week

The online retailer is launching a pilot program that will allow a technical team to work with a considerably shortened schedule

Fitness / Sport Today

How The Rio Olympics Stood For More Than Just Games

PSFK rounds out the Rio Games with our picks for the finest moments beyond sports

Trending

Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Retail: Technology Primer

See All
Retail Today

Mobile Travel App Embraces Cognitive Computing

The Orlando Tourism Board is looking to IBM Watson to provide personalized local recommendations for visitors

Automotive Today

Bike-Friendly Apartment Building For Swedish Cyclists

A residential space is being designed for commuters to easily transport goods

Advertising Today

Nike Takes Over An Entire City Block With A Giant Running Track

The Unlimited Stadium is shaped like a 100-meter sole print of the brand's LunarEpic sneaker

Gaming Today

Fortune Cookie Service Brings Bad News To Your Doorstep

To promote their new delivery service Blackbox, the creators of Cards Against Humanity are delivering unfortunate messages in an edible form

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed august 23, 2016

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

PSFK Labs Today

New Mentorship Ecosystems Benefit All Levels Of An Organization

PSFK’s Future of Work report explores how technology is being leveraged to support cross-team communication

Arts & Culture Today

This Picture Frame Could Be The Lava Lamp For A New Generation

Slow Dance makes real objects appear to move in slow motion

Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: How Will Companies Staff The Workplace Of The Future?

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX examine the ways that a people-first workplace might disrupt the job hiring process

Arts & Culture Today

Airport Mural Puts Passengers In The Clouds

The installation in an Amsterdam terminal lets travelers float through a series of billowing 3D digital shapes

Automotive Today

DevBot Is An Intelligent, Driverless, Electric Car

The unmanned test vehicle from RoboRace is a preview of upcoming AI race models

Fitness / Sport Today

Turn Any Wearable Into A Mental Health Tracker

Cognition Kit is a software platform that lets people track and better understand their cognitive states

INSIGHTS COVERAGE

Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games
READ NOW

Augmented / Virtual Reality Today

AR Ski Goggles Make Racing Down The Slopes Even More Immersive

Israeli startup RideOn weaves digital overlays into the thrill of skiing with an unconventional pair of protective eyewear

Advertising Today

Japan Wants To Make 2020 Olympic Medals From Recycled Electronic Waste

The Tokyo Games could showcase the first-ever gold, silver and bronze awards made from discarded phones and computers

Culture Today

This Small Town Has Become A Hide-and-Seek World Championship Destination

An old abandoned village in Northern Italy has become a massive playground for over one hundred competitive players

No search results found.