One of the most important things to do when managing any kind of team (but especially a creative one) is to create a culture of safety and security within that team. Members need to feel like they are supported and their contribution is valued, otherwise output tends to suffer. We also want to make sure that as much as possible, our staff enjoy themselves at work because life outside can be demanding and unpredictable. (more…)

Too much of the time, as designers, we see ourselves as problem solvers above all else. It’s fun to be a problem solver – it can be intoxicating sometimes, to be able to take skills that you have, apply them efficiently, and solve a problem. And it’s even better if you can help people at the same time.

But problem solving is more than just shifting into first gear and moving off. It’s about thinking about the journey first, deciding on the best route and crucially, whether the destination is the one that is worth visiting. (more…)

Padlocked gate

I was sent a link to a document the other day and got faced with this message when the page loaded. It effectively says “You’re not on the list, but you can come in anyway”. (more…)

This story actually broke a few weeks ago, but it only came to my attention as I was researching for something to write on this topic. Amazon’s in hot water, it seems, with authorities in both Europe and the US about how difficult it is to cancel its Prime service (article link). The full report by the Norwegian Consumer Council makes for some particularly interesting reading.

This doesn’t come as a particular surprise to me, because it’s clear that Prime growth is one of Amazon’s major objectives, and has been for a while. (more…)

There are of course many ways that we can help a user make the right decision when making a choice within a website or app, but something I’ve been following over the last few years is a concept called ‘Dark Patterns’; that is, UX patterns that are intended to deceive the user, rather than help them make an informed decision. I find these interesting because they’re sort of the ‘dark side’ of UX and web design. We tend to come at most website interactions trusting, especially if it’s a big brand retailer. But these patterns are actually there to manipulate and catch us out. I feel like it’s worth calling them out so that there’s more awareness of what’s going on, and users can make the decision that’s right for them, rather than the retailer.

This week’s dark pattern comes to us courtesy of high end cosmetics and perfume retailer SpaceNK, and this interaction happens at checkout. (more…)

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