All posts by Michael Harris

Talking Psych to Non-Psychologists – Part 2

Published
2nd March 2016
by 
Michael Harris
Category:
Talking Psych to Non-Psychologists – Part 2

I describe my job in many different ways depending on the situation – though I often use the words applied psychology. ‘Applying’ a subject typically means using the core body of knowledge to inform another area of work and life, rather than extending that body of knowledge itself. In part 2 of this blog, Mike Harris explains how we can better communicate psychology so people feel confident with complex concepts.

Talking Psych to Non-Psychologists - Part 1

Published
26th January 2016
by 
Michael Harris
Category:
Talking Psych to Non-Psychologists - Part 1

Psychology is a crucial discipline for all UX people – whether they started there or discovered it via other routes. However, it may come as a surprise, but not everyone spends all day philosophising on how the mind works. These ‘non-psychologists’ actually have other things that they think about. Who knew?! So for all fellow psychologists out there (and everyone else - please apply this to whatever your domain expertise is) if you find yourself starting to boulder on about ‘choice paralysis’ to a room full of furrowed brows and wandering eyes, please read the following advice...

10 ways design influences voting

Published
7th May 2015
by 
Michael Harris
Category:
10 ways design influences voting

In principle, democratic voting should be one of the simplest processes in the world. Everyone chooses what they want, and everyone’s opinion is counted. The most popular vote wins.

Yet like all things, complexity announces itself and sets us some problems. With the UK general election upon us, let us reflect on how democratic voting is actually designed, and how it could be refined in the future.

Industry commentary: Reading re-imagined

Published
28th August 2014
by 
Michael Harris
Category:
Industry commentary: Reading re-imagined

The future of speed-reading; removing the annoying necessity of moving your eyes and using anchoring on central letters, this can enable reading at 1000 words a minute. This may be how most text information is delivered in the future – potentially on wearable devices.

Introducing forcing functions

Published
28th May 2014
by 
Michael Harris
Category:
Introducing forcing functions

Forcing function is commonly cited in human factors case studies as recommendations for error-prevention in health and safety contexts. It means forcing users to do something in a certain way in order to proceed on a journey. Looking at forcing function techniques can support error prevention as opposed to error recovery.

In defence of buckets

Published
14th April 2014
by 
Michael Harris
Category:
In defence of buckets

Scouring through UX blogs on the topic of menus, IA, or navigation you will find the theme of buckets.

A ‘bucket’ is defined as a menu item into which almost anything could fit – they are typically labelled with vague words like ‘Miscellaneous’, ‘Information’, ‘Other’ or ‘Stuff’. These have effectively been crucified as “the ONE thing you must never do”. So at the risk of being virtually crucified, I am here to defend them.

Forms part two - Pace and Balance

Published
20th June 2012
by 
Michael Harris
Category:
Forms part two - Pace and Balance

The shockingly high dropout statistics you will undoubtedly find if you probe into an average online form’s analytics begs the question: ‘Why are they so difficult to get through?’ Often they are not actually difficult; they are just boring.