Everything I know about interaction design, I learned from my cats.

CATS CAN’T TALK, but it turns out they are great interaction designers.

I’ve been laid up with a hernia and bronchitis and I’ve let a few chores go. Such as prompt daily cleaning of the litter box shared by my cats, Snow White and Giovanni.

This morning they found a way to catapult the litter box rake right into the box. Handle first, mind you — leaving the part I touch three inches deep in the very filth I’d neglected to clean. Punishment as well as instruction.

I can play scales; my cats cannot. I can spend time with Gandalf and Oliver Twist; my cats cannot. On those scales I am the superior being.

But I would give ten years and a pinky to create interfaces that are half as clear as the one my cats designed for me this morning.

By Jeffrey Zeldman

“King of Web Standards”—Bloomberg Businessweek.

Designer at Automattic, Inc. Co-Founder, An Event Apart. Publisher, A List Apart & A Book Apart. Author. Father. He/him.

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