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Brain Feasts: Longer Reads

Tips from Airbnb on Designing a 5 Star Website

It’s 9:00am and you’ve just touched down in sunny Barcelona and arrived at your Airbnb. You open the door and your eyes dart around the room — lots of light, modern furnishing and most importantly, it’s clean! First impressions are good.

Highlights from the Service Design Fringe Festival 2018

Giving myself enough time to reflect on the Service Design Fringe Festival as one of the 2018 organisers I can firmly say that the Festival was a success and worth of my time and energy investment putting aside/greying out countless meetings and myriads of emails, hungry late night catch-ups and playing “hardcore Tetris” with the agenda!

Video Games – Addictive By Design?

If you were asked to characterise a ‘gamer’, chances are, you’d describe a socially awkward teenage male. That’s the general perception of a gamer – and something that has been perpetuated by films and TV for decades – but it’s a far cry from the truth. In fact, the average gamer is 35 years old, and 40% of gamers are women (and women make up more of the gaming population than boys under 18).

Research has shown that gaming can have a variety of positive impacts on the players. For example, video game technologies like virtual reality have been used to help people recover from PTSD, get over phobias, and learn to manage drug addictions. Action-based games can boost hand eye-coordination for adults and kids, and gaming, in general, can help people relax, feel better, and trigger positive emotional responses.

But nothing is ever black and white. And as gaming has become increasingly adopted as part of the “mainstream” – it’s estimated that there’s at least one gamer in 65% of American households – a dark side has been lurking in the shadows.

Axure Vs. Sketch: What, Why and When

This is a short(ish) blog that aims to respond to the increased use of Sketch (a software design/prototyping tool) by our clients. I’ll look at some of the more significant differences between Sketch and Axure (a similar prototyping tool), how they fit into our user-centred design (UCD) practice and what we recommend our clients use to upskill their teams and streamline their product pipelines.

Dear Diary (Study)… How To Ensure You Get The Best Results

“Dear Diary,

How can I ensure I get the best results when conducting a diary study as part of a UX research project?”

Let’s start with a quick overview: diary studies are a research method used to gain qualitative insight into participants’ behaviour (and the context) over a period of time. During the study period, participants are asked to enter information about their activities in a log, diary or journal (online or off) – this is then analysed by the researcher at the end of the observation period.

4 Usability Tips From ‘Don’t Make Me Think’

Steve Krug’s ‘Don’t Make Me Think’ is still one of the most respected books about web usability, nearly 20 years(!) after its original publication. Some might even argue it’s more relevant today than ever, especially given the number of sites and apps there are in the world.

How To Optimise Your Online Registration Process

23rd May 2018 - This post has 1 comment
Posted by in Brain Feasts: Longer Reads

Registering for a site or service is often, to put it frankly, a tedious and boring task. But although it’s not the ‘sexiest’ part of an interface, the registration process is a crucial element of any digital product, and can even be a determining factor in whether the user will actually continue to use the service… or not.

Get your registration forms right and you’ll increase sign-ups, conversion rates and user satisfaction – do them badly and it’s likely you’ll see bounce rates skyrocketing.

Is Designing for Persuasion Ethical?

25th April 2018
Posted by in Brain Feasts: Longer Reads
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Persuasive design has received a lot of media attention recently. At the end of 2017, before Facebook’s more recent data leak difficulties, a number of high profile Silicon Valley technologists spoke out against the platforms that they helped build. Facebook’s founding president Sean Parker criticised the development of functionality that “exploit[s] a vulnerability in human psychology” in order to “consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible”. The next day Chamath Palihapitiya, Vice President for User Growth at Facebook until 2011 said he felt “tremendous guilt” for his role in developing interactions that play on “short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops” to maximise engagement.

8 Ways You Can Build Trust Through Design

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a meet-up in London run by the Service Design Network, where we discussed how we can improve the way we design for those who are vulnerable, as well as how to build trust through design.

Building trust is not an easy task – but if businesses aren’t able to achieve it, or lose it, the results can be fatal (you only need to look at the recent news about Facebook to grasp the impact that loss of confidence can have).

5 Great Examples of Emotion in Design

Think about a piece of creative – whether it’s a television advert, an email, a website or a physical object – that has had a lasting effect on you. It’s likely that as you’re picturing it, a huge part of what you remember will be the emotion you felt at the time. When you think about it, you won’t just recall what it was and what it looked like; you’ll remember if the images made you smile, or if the copy made you feel inspired.

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