This week’s lecture quite frankly blew my mind. To know that we will never perceive the world as it truly is, on some level, kind of sad. I’ve encountered some of these issues (usually in the form of annoying viral posts) in the past, but the lecture painted a comprehensive picture of how through culture and past experience and our brain makes us its mind about ‘what is out there’. As designers, we need to keep this in mind. There’s a lot of reading I need to do in this area.

Jennifer Tidwell’s design patterns formed the second part of the lecture. The first edition seems to have been written when desktop applications and web interfaces were predominantly used. The patterns do apply when moving to the current world of web and mobile applications as well, and the second edition expands the list of patterns significantly. It’s a good starting point to understand why a particular interface works or doesn’t.

The discussion of patterns in class also made me think of “Dark Patterns” (more here).

Disclaimer! Nik, I’m not sure if this is a reliable source. In fact, I’m going to dig up more research on this issue! However, it seems plausible to me that using our knowledge of human behaviour and cognitive perception, design patterns could be used for nefarious purposes.

The author of the website defines them as

“A Dark Pattern is a user interface that has been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things, such as buying insurance with their purchase or signing up for recurring bills.”

The site has some examples, and it’s an interesting read. Nik, maybe we could spend a bit of time on this in class?

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