TRENDSPOT: SXSW Muppets to Mastery: UX principles from Jim Henson

By | 2016-11-04T16:58:00+00:00 October 4, 2013|Best Practices, Innovation, JUICE TRENDSPOT, Viewpoints|

In this episode of JUICE TRENDSPOT, Alec Pollak discusses how we can use the evolution and success of Jim Henson’s puppets to elevate user experience.

Jim Henson began with modest beginnings: He created Kermit the Frog with a just a coat and ping-pong balls almost 60 years ago. He eventually became a very successful puppeteer by understanding how to captivate the television audience. That is, he only showed the part of the puppet that mattered and hid everything else below the television screen/frame, so the viewer was only focused on the puppets and not how they were brought to life. The audience’s sole attention was on the entertainment.

These core principles can be applied to user experience designers today, as explained by Russ Unger, Senior UX Leader, GE Capital. An interface needs to be communicated in a clear and seamless matter; its technology needs to be “hidden” so that users are not burdened by information they don’t need and can therefore focus exclusively on the content they are interested in. It is important to remember that it’s the UX designer’s responsibility to solve for this extraneous level of technology in order to create more streamlined and powerful interfaces.

Trend: Show only what is important to the user

For more information:

SXSW Description: Muppets to mastery: UX principles from Jim Henson

Presenter: Russ Unger, Senior UX Leader, GE Capital

Jim Henson started working as a puppeteer in 1954, a fair 40 to 50 years before many of us even considered User Experience as a career. He did, however, take it upon himself to apply many of the core principles that UX Designers are falling love with today (or are at least using as part of our everyday lives). Hang out for a quick dive
into the life of Jim Henson, with a view into his work from the perspective of how it pertains to what it is we’re doing today, that promises to even leave Waldorf and Statler happy. 
And yes, there will be Muppets.

Do you have any UX best practices you’ve borrowed from another industry or medium? Share in the comments or send us a note…

About the Author:

Ben Putman
SVP, Creative Technology and Innovation

Leave A Comment