When things get rough in life, one often turns to things that work. For me that’s good times, no frills, party rock and roll. This often times means Kiss, the band that is older than time itself at this point, known for their make-up, pyrotechnics and lyrical hedonism who embodied the 70’s and 80’s notion of a good time. They did rock, they did disco, they were made for loving you, and potentially even me somehow.
Just read through the lyrics of “Cold Gin”1 on Kiss Self Titled (1974).
My heater’s broke and I’m so tired
I need some fuel to build a fire
The girl next door, her lights are out, yeah
The landlord’s gone, I’m down and out
Ooh, it’s cold gin time again
You know it’ll always win
Cold gin time again
You know it’s the only thing
That keeps us together, ow
It’s time to leave and get another quart
Around the corner at the liquor store
Ha-ha, the cheapest stuff is all I need
To get me back on my feet again
I had this song stuck in my head for about a week recently, first while spending three days hiking through the mountains and then while arguing with my kids or something at home. For some reason I began to think of design in the context of this song.
First, think about your typical design project, then reread the lyrics to this song. Which is more enjoyable?
Even if you think the lyrics are ridiculous and don’t like pure rock and roll, or for that matter anything that is good and pure in the universe, the point is that there is no point really. It’s there to entertain, to help you forget your job on your commute back from your dismal job to your dismal home and make some cocktails.
Design, especially interaction design, rarely does this in our lives. In the music of Kiss you have frivolity, which design rarely if ever has. There is no dark design patterns sucking you into a data giveaway nightmare. They’re not trying to sell you their thing on Kickstarter. Sure, they’re trying to sell you box sets, overpriced concert tickets for their 856th tour and t-shirts, but nothing else except a good time. And a good time is a lot of times all we need.
The hilarious bit is that Gene and Paul didn’t drink then or now. ↩︎