2010s

The Perils of Persuasion

Posted in 2010s, Articles, Ethics on March 3rd, 2011 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Cennydd Bowles, “The Perils of Persuasion” (2010)

Persuasion design doesn’t share UCD’s ethical neutrality. Instead, it makes an implicit but undeniable judgment that certain behaviours are preferable to others. We need only look at the vocabulary of persuasion design to see this. Jon Kolko’s infamous Johnny Holland article talks of design’s contribution “to the behaviour of the masses, [helping to] define the culture of our society.”

While I respect Jon’s intellect, I find this to be dangerous rhetoric from which we can draw uncomfortable parody: Fear not, huddled masses – the design elite will lead you to the promised land. Persuasion design’s assured ethical superiority is unfortunate. Although some of the cases put forward are compelling – guiding people toward better macroscopic decisions about environment, health etc – we must recognise that, for all the good deeds behaviour change can encourage, it is prone to murkier applications.

What privileges the designer to dictate desired behaviour? And since we’re for hire, does that mean we’re ethical relativists, bending people toward whatever agenda lines our pockets?

Whomever the paymaster, the common pattern I observe in digital persuasion design is that its values are uniformly technocratic. Science is better than faith. Action is better than reflection. Progress is better than the status quo. These values strike me as practically Futurist and, at the risk of invoking Godwin’s Law, I’m concerned that radical persuasion design is vulnerable to similar autocratic pitfalls.

An Archive for Interaction Design

Posted in 2010s, Articles, History on February 18th, 2011 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Khoi Vinh, “An Archive for Interaction Design” (2010)

Designers are terrible at saving what we do. Most of us know that we should take the time to document what we’ve done for our own portfolios, if not for posterity. Yet few of us take the trouble. We usually wait until we leave our jobs and a portfolio becomes an imperative, or when a potential client spurs us to write a case study of a finished project.

It’s been said before, but it’s worth repeating that digital media is a conversation. To design for digital media is to design systems within which wildly varying kinds of interactions can happen, virtual systems that are conducive to great conversations. Conversations, however, are notoriously difficult to fully capture.

The A-B-C of Behaviour

Posted in 2010s, Articles on January 24th, 2011 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Jodie Moule, “The A-B-C of Behaviour” (2011)

We all seem to be talking about changing behaviour through good design…but changing behaviour is actually really hard. Working as a psychologist in a detox unit at the start of my career has admittedly shaped my view of what it takes to change someone’s behaviour; and whilst I learnt it certainly isn’t impossible, it often takes time. Combine this with the fact that most human behaviour is not considered to be overly planned, with ‘conscious thought’ playing, at best, a small role in shaping our choices…things start to become a little tricky for us as designers. So how do we start to make sense of what influences someone to change their behaviour, given we are often charged with creating designs that are ultimately intended to encourage, if not drive, some form of behaviour change?

Emoticomp

Posted in 2010s, Articles, Ubicomp and Internet of Things on January 24th, 2011 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Ben Bashford, Emoticomp (2011)

Interaction designers are used to using personas (research based user archetypes) to describe the types of people that will use the thing they’re designing – their background, their needs and the like but I’m not sure if we’ve ever really explored the use of personas or character documentation to describe the product themselves. What does the object want? How does it feel about it? If it can sense its location and conditions how could that affect its behaviour? This kind of thing could be incredibly powerful and would allow us to develop principles for creating the finer details of the object’s behaviour.

I think you could develop a persona for every touchpoint of the connected object’s service. Maybe it could be the same persona if the thing is to feel strong and omnipresent but maybe you could use different personas for each touchpoint if you’re trying to bring out the connectedness of everything at a slightly more human level.

Pawned: Gamification and Its Discontents

Posted in 2010s, Game Mechanics, Presentations on October 22nd, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Sebastian Deterding, “Pawned: Gamification and Its Discontents” (2010)

Crisis & Interaction Design

Posted in 2010s, History, Inspirational on October 16th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Chris Blow, “Crisis & Interaction Design” (2010)

Why We Turned Microsoft Office Into A Game

Posted in 2010s, Presentations on October 16th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Daniel Cook, Why We Turned Microsoft Office Into a Game” (2010)

11 Principles of Interaction Design Explained

Posted in 2010s, Articles, Basics on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Paul Seys, “11 Principles of Interaction Design Explained” (2010)

Abductive Thinking and Sensemaking: The Drivers of Design Synthesis

Posted in 2010s, Articles, Design Research, Theory on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Jon Kolko, “Abductive Thinking and Sensemaking: The Drivers of Design Synthesis” (2010)

User Experience Matters: What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From ‘Objectified’

Posted in 2010s, Articles, Basics on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Om Malik, “User Experience Matters: What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From ‘Objectified’” (2010)

Introduces the “Of Course” Factor.