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...
All posts by Michael Harris
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
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.
Framing UX research questions
This short video provides advice about user research to avoid incorrect results, bad decisions and ultimately a sub-optimal product.
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
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
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.
Forms part one - the reservoir of goodwill
It seems the only people who enjoy forms in any way are those who get to criticise them for a living.
You may also think there to be masochistic form creators out there who enjoy deliberately creating frustrating experiences; but I believe they are simply failing to grasp how many problems a set of questions and answer fields can run into.
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