Dark pattern or dim user?

I’ve just encountered a stinky example of the Sneak into Basket dark pattern, courtesy of buymobilephones.net.

I visited their website, picked the phone and contract I wanted, and clicked ‘Add to basket’.

The next view showed me my basket.

But look: a little line saying ‘Mobile phone … Read more

How to tell stories in fast-forward

I like the layout of Raph Koster’s classic game design book, A Theory of Fun. You get the choice of reading the full text of the book (on the left- hand pages) or a quick potted version in pictures, by flicking through the right-hand pages. I’m sure it’s an old tactic but I’ve never … Read more

Just use a pencil, goddammit

I needed some very simple, cartoony figures to represent different user groups on a diagram I was drawing in Omnigraffle, and couldn’t find anything free and suitable online. So I started using Omnigraffle to make my own.

A while later I was still tweaking Obsidian curves to create a little tie for one of … Read more

A game made just for you

Do video games learn what a gamer likes as they play, then tailor the rest of the game experience accordingly?

Say I’m playing a game where every so often, I can pick up guns from the floor. I always pick up uzis, because I have a particular penchant for cutting zombies in half with … Read more

Influencing people’s emotions: the direct approach

“I am polite. Therefore you will not be annoyed”

Obi Wan Kenobi would be proud.

The Uncanny Valley

The Uncanny Valley: the point at which an anthropomorphic robot starts looking less like a convincing human and more like Phil Neville (Mori et al, 1997).

Ux good practice – where are the stats?

Where can I find a good resource that proposes statistical evidence for good user experience design decisions? ‘We made this change, enquiries went up 30%’. That kind of stuff. Even if the stats are questionable and need picking apart.

I feel a bit daft asking and hopefully someone can answer this easily… 80-20 rule, and … Read more

How Google does user experience

Interesting presentation (albeit from 2006) about Google’s user experience by engineering director Jen Fitzpatrick.

Some sample points:

“Google is like a swiss army penknife”. The homepage has hardly changed since 1997. In early testing, people didn’t use the ‘I feel lucky button’ – they had no idea what it would do. But they liked … Read more

Mind tricks to make group work more productive

We’re doing an MSc group project to come up with a design prototype. There’s six of us working together.

Last week we got stuck. We had a bunch of survey data and the results of some fairly fruitful brainstorming sessions. But we couldn’t decide what to do next.

The problem was that we suddenly … Read more