I like the background image here. It makes the unsubscription suddenly becomes so zen… lol
Dark Patterns are User Interfaces that are designed to trick people.
Normally when you think of “bad design”, you think of laziness or mistakes. These are known as design anti-patterns. Dark Patterns are different – they are not mistakes, they are carefully crafted with a solid understanding of human psychology, and they do not have the user’s interests in mind.
Quite amazing actually.
I’ve been always on the side of something clean, simple and straightforward (eg: Facebook Paper) but this has kind of taken me out of that zone.
It was obviously a bit overwhelming at the first glance, but it was surely interesting and refreshing.
Once upon a time, I freelanced for a digital agency and there was a minor incident that has been bugging me since then.
At some point during my short tenure there, I was roped into a client’s meeting to go through some of the evaluations and recommendations the agency has made for the client’s work. It was all documented in a thick stack of papers.
I was told that we would go through the document and discuss the pointers with the clients accordingly, therefore I didn’t have to really prepare anything. Plus, I was told it should be a short meeting of roughly an hour.
Looking at the thick stack of paper, I could not barely imagine how we could cover all the points within a hour of meeting. Perhaps my agency folks were a little too ambitious.
Given that I had some down time then, I took it at my own effort to compile a list of recommendations indicated in the document. Basically, I picked up points in a Word document and listed them out in an Excel sheet. Simple as that.
There came the meeting.
I was praised for the awesome list I drawn out. To this day, I am still amazed how a simply house-cleaning action could have got me so much attention. But that’s not the point of this post.
Among more than 10 pointers of how to improve the work, we’ve got 2 particular points:
So the client asked: What is IA so different from site navigation? Can’t we combine these?
The next thing I knew, everybody was trying to chime in.
Account Director: Oh yea, what’s so different?
Planner: I would think as much.
Client: Architecture is navigation and vice versa right?
Account Director: Ah right. Don’t worry about it. ‘IA’ is just another flash word of Jenny’s.
At that very moment, I felt literally lost, couldn’t comprehend why I was sitting among ‘digital’ folks who could simply laugh through ‘IA is navigation and navigation is IA‘ without a second doubt.
I would have already spoken up if not the topic wasn’t immediately overshadowed by the next point in the list.
Frankly speaking, I wasn’t so much turned off by lack of knowledge or however more nicely one would put it. Neither was I totally disappointed by at the fact that the situation became me Jenny showing off ‘flash words’. It was exactly the ignorance of people who consider themselves ‘digital experts’, who could write endlessly about Advanced Digital everywhere on the Interwebs, yet couldn’t grasp the difference between IA and Navigation. Seriously, guys?! That was totally uncool.
Let us all get our shit together, shan’t we?
Disclaimer: My ex-colleagues then were super nice people. And I had zero personal or work-related conflicts towards them prior to this event, which may or may not result in this post. All views were mine alone. Happy to discuss the topic further if you please.
Best login screen ever?
Coincidentally, Paper’s website is also a favourite one of mine.
Picking her brain on females/being a female in the start-up scene.
Janice is an entrepreneur, designer, and advisor to early stage companies. She has raised capital, founded both successful and failed startups, and consulted to both large enterprises & tiny startups. Along the way Janice has learned a lot about what makes some teams thrive and others wither.
At LUXr (www.luxr.co) she’s answering the question, “How can regular, smart people do predictably good user experience work in an agile or Lean Startup™ environment?” She believes the answer lies in the operating practices and behaviors of the team.
Janice is a guest lecturer at Haas, Stanford, CCA, and the Presidio Graduate School of Management. Prior to starting LUXr, Janice was a founding partner of Adaptive Path and served as the company’s first CEO.
Janice’s full profile here.