NoUI, YesUI, and appropriate visbility

Frank Chimero has a great follow-up to Tino Arnall’s excellent post No to NoUI. In The Cloud is Heavy and Design Isn’t Invisible Frank explores what’s appropriate (and what’s not) about using “The Cloud” as a metaphor, and then he makes a great point about the Invisible Design trend:

Sometimes I wonder if the desire to obfuscate production and make the resulting design invisible or seamless to users diminishes their appreciation for the craft of building systems. I think there’s a strong likelihood that metaphors like “The Cloud” and sayings like “It Just Works™” reduce a user’s appreciation of the software/hardware they are using. “Magic” is a great word for selling product, but it also can cheapen all the sweat it takes to get there. If the seams have been covered, you can’t admire how things connect.

I completely agree with Frank on this. As I’ve mentioned before, I think our goal shouldn’t be NoUI (or YesUI or AlwaysUI or whatever we want to label the other extreme). Our goal should be appropriate visibility.