In a recent interview I was asked the question: How do you design magic? When I describe StoryPops, the cross screen digital pop-up book that I’m working on (see video ^), I often use the word magic to explain the effect it has on users. The feeling of magic is something we’re all familiar with, but what’s the secret recipe for making it?
When I was asked this question about designing for magic, my mind immediately jumped to the contrast between the strange and the familiar. I believe that magic comes from making the familiar strange and the strange familiar. When we subvert the expectations of a user in ways that are surprising and playful, we are designing for magic.