Color denotes size.



October 12, 2015

Fishhooks as UX

I do a ton of UI/UX work. One of the things that makes me good at it is that I distill all this stuff around me into how that impacts the user experience.

With that in mind I loved this article about Brilliantly-Designed Inuit Fish Hook That Allows the Halibut Population to Replenish Itself. Take a minute to read the article. Basically this fishhook allows fish to self-select if they will be dinner or not.

An excerpt from the article:

If you catch a fish that’s too big, it’ll capsize your boat and you’ll drown.

If you catch a fish that’s too small, you’re killing an infant that isn’t a meal-worthy size—and more importantly, hasn’t yet had a chance to reproduce, and you want that fish population to continually replenish itself, for the sake of the next generation.

The overall [fishhook] is sized such that a small fish cannot open their mouths wide enough to get to the bait and become hooked by the barb. A too-large fish, meanwhile, has a mouth that spans the maximum width of the object, meaning they can’t get stuck by the barb either. Only the [perfect sized] halibut can reach the bait and become hooked by the barb.

That’s the whole point of user experience. Guiding the right user to do the right task. That’s why the button to take action is big and bright and the text to cancel that action is subdued and gray.

About the author

Amber Sawaya

Amber Sawaya is a UX consultant, best-selling author, and business owner. She writes about UX everywhere, leadership, efficiency, product design, and how to run design departments and small agencies.