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Revealing UX Patterns via Supercuts

A supercut is “a fast-paced montage of short video clips that obsessively isolates a single element from its source, usually a word, phrase, or cliche from film and TV.”

Last year, I was obsessed by Christian Marclay’s “The Clock” — a real-time 24-hour montage of time-related scenes in movies (clip). And, while not technically a supercut, “Los Angeles Plays Itself,” a video essay by Thom Andersen, is an amazing view of how film is used to portray a single city.

And so it was great, this morning to discover (or maybe it’s re-discover) some examples of this genre. These look specifically at technology, interfaces, and user experiences. It’s fascinating to see how some UX patterns — like banging a piece of technology — have existed for ages…

“My old grandmother used to say, ‘Anything mechanical – give it a good bash.'”

(The above clip was created by Duncan Robson — who you can support on Patreon)

Whereas others are more recent. This montage of clips from post-2000 shows how suddenly the idea of “no signal” became a horror movie cliché…

Other patterns exist only for limited periods of time. For example, compare how differently the idea of “hacking” is portrayed in the 80’s vs the 90’s…

Or how the word “mainframe” is interpreted…

And for single-film completists, here’s one by Dino Ignacio that shows every interface in Star Wars.

I could keep going — but you get the idea.

(For a future post – I’d love to connect these supercuts to the ideas in this New York Magazine article.)