Modern design emerged as a reaction against anachronistic historical reference and shoddy mass production in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The movement found its mantra in Louis Sullivan's famous dictum that form follows function and raised fitness to purpose as the ultimate criterion for evaluating design. Emphasis was given to the appropriate use of new materials and manufacturing techniques, with an honesty that allowed their inherent qualities to emerge rather than be forever relegated to the emulation of traditional media.
If the early Modernists may be critiqued for making something of a fetish of the machine age - the French architect le Corbusier famously described his chair as, "a machine for sitting"- the same can be true of the techno-fetishists of today. We seek not the latest and the greatest, however exciting those phantoms may be, but rather, the smoothest, the best integrated, and the most thoroughly understood when selecting the mechanisms of interactive experience.
Like a fine set of gears, the designs we create should propel the user almost effortlessly toward their goal with scarcely the awareness of any experience of the user interface itself. Let the meshing of the individual features become imperceptible as the user is immersed in the completion of their task.