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Test your UI design skills with this addicting game

Which one is better–left or right?

Test your UI design skills with this addicting game
[Image: Can’t Unsee]

There is no video game that can turn you into a great designer (even if SimCity really can teach you a lot about urban planning). But this new game, which tests your knowledge of interface design, can make you feel pretty great if you master its three rounds.

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Can’t Unsee, created by software engineer Alex Kotliarskyi, gives you a simple task: Say which of two designs sitting side by side is the better one. It’s Hot or Not for interface design.

Play Can’t Unsee here [Image: Can’t Unsee]
But it’s not an easy game. You’ll need to squint your way through three rounds, each with 18 pairs of interfaces to compare. In one trial, a chat bubble in a messaging app is the improper width. In another, text is capitalized inconsistently. You often can barely make a value judgment, because you’re just trying to figure out if there’s any difference between the two interfaces at all. (Note: There always is a difference!)

The game seems perfect for the design community, but Kotliarskyi actually calls it “a game that tests your attention to details”–which means anyone who enjoys finding tiny differences between two images might enjoy it, too.

Play Can’t Unsee here [Image: Can’t Unsee]
And it really is a fun exercise, as long as you don’t interpret the results as holy writ. As graphic designer Logan Boyd, who played the game, beautifully articulates on Product Hunt, many of the results are subjective calls rather than indisputable facts.  In one case he points out that he was penalized for choosing a search bar that had sharp rather than rounded corners. “Just because Google and others are doing it doesn’t mean every search bar needs to have a radius on its corners,” he writes. “Some brands and logos might do better with the 90-degree corners, or some might do well without having any box at all and opting just for the search button to click on.”

Which is true, and he also illustrates a larger point: For all its rules, design is still an art that can’t be reduced to the 1s and 0s, or rights and wrongs, of the engineering world with which it is so closely aligned.

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About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company who has written about design, technology, and culture for almost 15 years. His work has appeared at Gizmodo, Kotaku, PopMech, PopSci, Esquire, American Photo and Lucky Peach

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