Archives for August 2014

August 28, 2014 - No Comments!

Some Dark Patterns now illegal in UK

Just came across this article via Sidebar and have to applaud the Government for finally doing something about the curse of Dark Patterns on the web.

For the uninitiated, Dark Patterns are website user interfaces that purposefully mislead a user into doing something that benefits the website’s owners.  A classic example is the “add to basket” con, where adding a product to your basket gives you something you probably don’t want as well.  These patterns are unfortunately pervasive across much of the web, and the site Darkpatterns.org has a great library of them.

As a more tech-literate denizen of the internet than average, I feel a great distrust to websites that make use of these techniques.  It shows such contempt for the user, that instead of trying to gently persuade them to buy your product through low prices or excellent customer service, you’d rather trick them into spending money.  Thus is my attitude towards Ryanair.  Everyone hoped that their new website would move away from the old tricks, but unfortunately it hasn’t and I really like to avoid spending money with them unless absolutely necessary.  Hopefully the Government will stamp out their devious ways, but until then – caveat emptor.

August 28, 2014 - No Comments!

What I’d say to myself on leaving university…

I graduated from Leeds Uni in 2009.  It had been four years of ups and downs, but I’d made it and bagged an MA.  But after more than 5 years in the professional world, I feel like I’ve grown immeasurably, and what I’ve learnt since I’d love to be able to tell my past self:

  • Read and immerse yourself in design.  Find what aspects interest you the most and stay up to date.  Not all design is interesting, but most isn’t boring.
  • Always chase that feeling – the feeling that comes when a piece of design starts to “sing”.  If you can’t find the feeling, the work isn’t good enough.
  • Understand and have faith in your work.  Just because someone doesn’t like it, doesn’t mean it isn’t good work.  Know when to fight for what you care about and when to let it go.
  • Have confidence in your work.  Every other designer isn’t a Neville Brody or Paul Rand, and that’s OK.
  • Use your sense of humour.  Don’t be afraid to show personality in your work.  Again, as above, some may not like it, but subjectivity is inherent in design.  Taking risks can provide worthwhile rewards.
  • Design is one part concept, and one part execution.  Too much of either can break a project.  If the concept is too indulgent, the execution might not live up to it.  But if the execution is too indulgent the concept can be left feeling shallow.