How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist (Medium, 12min) I learned to think this way when I was a magician. Magicians start by looking for blind spots, edges, vulnerabilities and limits of people’s perception, so they can influence what people do without them even realizing it. Once you know how to push people’s buttons, you can play them like a piano. [more inside]
Sending and receiving emails are important parts of his job. On average, he gets an email every 45 minutes. Sometimes, the interval between emails is only two minutes. Other times, it’s three hours. Although many of these emails are unimportant or stress-inducing, some of them are fun. Before long, whenever Michael S has an internet connection, he starts refreshing his email inbox every 30 minutes, and then every five minutes and then, occasionally, every two minutes. Before long, it’s a compulsive tic – the pecking pigeon of web usage.If the internet is addictive, why don’t we regulate it?
Barbara Knickerbocker-Beskind has been an occupational therapist, inventor, author and recently started a new career as a designer for famed firm IDEO. Her work there is on products to support the ageing community - which benefits from her perspective as a 91-year-old.
The 'hamburger' icon is over 30 years old, and it's still a mystery to many users. Unlike the magnifying glass skeuomorph, which most people recognise as meaning 'search', the three horizontal bars used to represent 'menu' (or 'there's more stuff under here that you're less likely to need') is one of the most debated UX choices in web design. [more inside]
One of the core tenets of UX is that you've got to design like "the user is drunk." Any feature of your site has to be able to be used by someone who could be drunk - because, invariably, the user will mess it up otherwise. Wonderful idea. The thing is, it is hard to test. I and a lot of beer will test this for you.
Review of Mathbreakers. Review of Gizmodo.
Related Gizmodo article
Review of Mathbreakers. Review of Gizmodo.
Related Gizmodo article
Military infographics are completely insane -- An analysis of some of the baffling infographics that the US military have made public on the web for some reason.
Dark Patterns is a term used to describe web design that intentionally exploits specific aspects of the users psychology to drive them into making certain kinds of decisions. [an update to this fantastic previously] [more inside]
After a series of death threats led her to quit blogging in 2007 (previously), the brilliant writer/UX designer Kathy Sierra is back with a new blog, and an excellent new post: "Your app makes me fat." In typical Sierra fashion, it's personal, entertaining, research-derived, and provocative. (An archive of old Sierra posts can be found either on her old blog, Creating Passionate Users, or in this 400-page-long fan-made PDF.)
Most UI/UX experiences seem to concentrate on a busy user, but what if they are not? Empty States addresses how applications handle no content.
What's your problem? Putting purpose back into your projects: "Design is both problem and solution. In order to know we are creating the right solution, we have to make sure we’re solving the right problem... I do this by relying on three principles of problem solving..." Whitney Hess is a user experience design consultant. IgniteNYC video presentation she did on good user design principles (5 min.). [more inside]
Design Principles Behind the Firefox OS UX - An interesting look at the design philosophy of a modern smart-device interface, this one being developed as Free Software by the Mozilla Foundation.
Skeu It! "A celebration of arbitrary and gratuitious user interface decisions." Specifically: needless or inappropriate skeumorphism. Best of Skeu It.
iPhone Caused “Crisis of Design” at Samsung (Memo) “Influential figures outside the company come across the iPhone, and they point out that ‘Samsung is dozing off.’ All this time we’ve been paying all our attention to Nokia, and concentrated our efforts on things like Folder, Bar, Slide,” Shin wrote. “Yet when our UX is compared to the unexpected competitor Apple’s iPhone, the difference is truly that of Heaven and Earth. It’s a crisis of design.” Complete text of the internal memo submitted in the Apple vs Samsung case. Those are the more ugly points of the memo, which seems to bolster Apple’s lawsuit stating that Samsung infringed upon a number of Apple’s patents. Apple asserts that Samsung has “slavishly copied” Apple’s iPad and iPhone devices, and is seeking $2.5 billion in damages. So any more ammunition that Apple can get to make it look like Samsung attempted to actively rip off Apple’s products is only a good thing for Apple’s case. And the memo is rife with ammunition.
The day before last, Dianne Hackborn, a software engineer from Google, posted a lengthy essay on Google+ about Android UI rendering also touching on the hardware accelerated UI debacle. Not to let sleeping dogs lie, one of the previous Android interns, Andrew Munn, posted a reply regarding other areas where Android needs to improve. Both posts provide an absolutely fascinating first-hand look into how the Android UI works.
Using a computer for the first time. A Firefox UXer has an interesting encounter with someone who has never used a computer before and we all learn something. (Also, Jessamyn has a nice comment.)
The Lizard, The Catacombs, and the Clock Metafilter's own™ Marquis did some investigating of a Parisian secret society, known variously as UX, Untergunther or la Mexicaine de la Perforation (previously 1,2) The resulting article has been picked up by the Literary Journal BRICK and is available in full on their website. [via mefi projects]
Untergunther, a chapter of the Parisian cultural guerilla organisation UX (most memorably responsible for setting up a secret theatre in the catacombs under the Seine in 2004), unveil their latest project - a clock-restoration workshop hidden in the Pantheon dome! The group's own report and pictures here.
Something is coming...something wonderful! It's not a monolith but it is black and full of stars. It's iaslash, a new and remarkable slash-site that focuses on information architecture and all the sub-categories that fall nicely underneath. This comes as close to a one-stop-shop for IAs as any other resource available. Visit often and make your comments heard.
A Flash usability white paper that says Flash can improve the usability of a web site.
- "When executed correctly, with attention paid to the needs and wants of users, Macromedia Flash content can actually improve the user experience on any Web site."
Poor user interface elects George W. The second hole on the right does not correspond to the second candidate on the left (Gore), but rather to the first candidate on the right (Buchanan). While many people will notice this, many others, especially those with poor vision, will not. About 20% of Buchanan's votes in FL came from the county that used this ballot.