Over the last few years there has been a trend of using psychology to influence, nudge, coerce and sometimes trick people into doing something they may not otherwise do.

Quoting myself from an article in this month’s Digital Arts Magazine.

UX secrets revealed – Features – Digital Arts

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It’s Not About “Productivity.” It’s About Living Purposefully.

It becomes less about tips and tricks and more about making sure you’re allocating the most scarce resource in the universe, your attention, in ways that most closely align with who you are and what impact you want to have on the world.

Or why brain hacks are meaningless.

It’s Not About “Productivity.” It’s About Living Purposefully.
It’s Not About “Productivity.” It’s About Living Purposefully.

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Off means on! This is actually a great example of what I define as a Dark Pattern. It’s a user interface that uses manipulative techniques to get users to do things they would not otherwise have done.

More great stuff from Harry Brignull.

Read the full article, it’s a great example of how evil in design comes about The slippery slope

I’ve an interview with Harry coming up in next month’s .net magazine. He’s done more than anybody to highlight evil within design.

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Manipulation is deceptive. Design should be supportive. Theoretically, the two are separated by intention. But increasingly, in practice, the two forces are converging.

As I said in the book, we designers need to set boundaries to stop this stuff happening. Did the designer of this feel comfortable with it? The businesses involved clearly do.

Manipulation and Design | UX Magazine

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Understanding human behaviour: taking a more complex approach

An interesting read on data gathering to understand behaviour.

Large-scale surveys are useful but if we are serious about changing behaviours, we must use every tool to understand human complexity

Why you might ask;

One of the key takeaways from the new science is how woefully ill-equipped people are when it comes to reliably reporting our attitudes, values and behaviours. The ease with which we deceive ourselves and others to protect external perceptions and internal consistency is well documented.

What’s a designer to do?

By engaging collaborative “teams” of consumers in creative problem-solving processes, you allow participants to “think with their hands” and unlock insight often left untouched by traditional methodologies.

Read the full article in the Guardian Understanding human behaviour: taking a more complex approach

Thanks Walt.
Understanding human behaviour: taking a more complex approach

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9 Facts Every Creative Needs to Know About Collaborative Teams – 99U

“The mere presence of other people can boost your performance.
One the earliest findings in social psychology was the “social facilitation” effect – the way the mere presence of other people engaged in the same task as us can boost our motivation.” And more gems…

9 Facts Every Creative Needs to Know About Collaborative Teams – 99U

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6 Cognitive Biases you should know about

…and also how you can design against them. Nice one @ribotminimus

6 Cognitive Biases you should know about

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Hey you, designer, put that coffee down. How Caffeine Can Cramp Creativity : The New Yorker

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Fooled By Your Own Brain

A well written, interesting article covering some basics of perception and how easy it is to fool us humans.

Fooled By Your Own Brain

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“If you’re like the vast majority of Köhler’s respondents, you’re compelled by the idea that malumas are soft and rounded (like the shape on the left), whereas taketes are sharp and jagged (like that on the right). As Köhler showed, words carry hidden baggage that may play at least some role in shaping thought. What’s surprising, perhaps, is how profoundly a single word can shape material outcomes over time.”

(via The Surprising Psychology of How Names Shape Our Thoughts : The New Yorker)

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