All posts filed under “Forcing functions

Pier pressure

Pier pressure

   Deliberately routing users via a longer or more circuitous route is found in many forms (with a variety of intentions) from misleading road signs, to endless click-through screens, splitting up articles, periodic rearrangement of supermarket shelves, and so on. This kind of forcing function […]

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Design & Punishment

Design & Punishment

Design and Punishment, by Ben Cunningham. Photo from the Arts Institute at Bournemouth‘s 2007 Three Dimensional Design graduate directory. Very neatly linking the themes of the last two posts (devices to make users aware of their energy use, and intentionally uncomfortable seating) is the Design […]

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Learned down the gambling house

Learned down the gambling house

Michael Shanks’ Ten Things class at Stanford – which looks like a brilliant application of anthropological and archaeological thinking to design and technology – generated a very interesting project by William Choi and Antoine Sindhu analysing the architectures of control (psychological and physical) designed into […]

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Lean or mean?

Lean or mean?

Image from a flyer by Joscelyn Bingham. The Lean Seat bench, by Joscelyn Bingham, a graduating 3D Design student from University College Falmouth, is a ‘traditionally’ styled slatted wooden alternative to the (usually) unattractive anti-sit perches often found in public places. Note: the surface of […]

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The Terminal Bench

The Terminal Bench

Mags L Halliday – author of the Doctor Who novel History 101 – let me know about an ‘interesting’ design tactic being used at Heathrow’s Terminal 5. From the Guardian, by Julia Finch: Flying from the new Heathrow Terminal 5 and facing a lengthy delay? […]

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Making exercise cooler

Making exercise cooler

Main image and above right: Snowdown aesthetic model; below right: Snowdown functional test rig prototype. Snowdown, by Matthew Barnett, is fantastic. Powered by a child exercising, moving the handle, it crushes ice cubes and compacts them to make snowballs. There are a lot of kids […]

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Ticket off (reprise)

Ticket off (reprise)

Last year we looked at the way that the pricing structure of no-change-given ticket machines is often – apparently – designed to lead to overpayment, and I posed the question of whether councils/car park operators actually draw up their budget based on a significant proportion […]

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Portioning blame

Portioning blame

McDonald’s, Toledo, Ohio, 1967. Image from DRB62 on Flickr. We’ve looked previously at the effect of portion/packaging sizes as a ‘choice of default’ architecture of control, and I’m aware that I have not yet reviewed Dr Brian Wansink‘s excellent Mindless Eating, which examines this and […]

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Deliberately creating worry

Deliberately creating worry

Swedish creativity lecturer Fredrik Härén mentions an interesting architecture of control anecdote in his The Idea Book: One of the cafés in an international European airport was often full. The problem was that people sat nursing their coffees for a long time as they waited […]

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Key issue

Key issue

Is this simply poor design or a deliberate feature? A friend tells me of his irritation with his Sony Ericsson W880i’s ‘internet’ key, which is positioned such that it frequently gets pressed accidentally when pressing the buttons above and below it – “three or four […]

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Process friction

Process friction

Koranteng Ofosu-Amaah kindly sent me a link to this article by Ben Hyde: I once had a web product that failed big-time. A major contributor to that failure was tedium of getting new users through the sign-up process. Each screen they had to step triggered […]

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Tearstrip-tease

Tearstrip-tease

Alexander Freitas of the Infinity Squared blog notes the difficulties with frustrating tear-strips on packaging, and, comparing an easier-to-open pack from one manufacturer with a difficult tearstrip from another, suggests (somewhat along the lines of ‘Forcing functions designed to increase product consumption‘), that the company’s […]

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archiPWNED

archiPWNED

Image from archiPWNED portfolio entry (PDF) Scott Nusinow, one of Cory Doctorow’s students in his University of Southern California class, ‘PWNED: Everyone on Campus is a Copyright Criminal‘, carried out an architectural concept project for the design of a Los Angeles library. He’s specifically addressed […]

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How this research will be moving forward

How this research will be moving forward

UPDATE: This 2-page PDF (produced summer 2008) introduces the research I’ve taken the plunge, and will be starting a PhD in September at Brunel University, Uxbridge, in the School of Engineering & Design. The chosen subject incorporates both a formal investigation and review of certain […]

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Tidying up the /cig-bin

Tidying up the /cig-bin

Two types of cigarette receptacle with sloping tops to prevent cigarettes (and other litter) being put on top. Images from the New Pig catalogue pigalog. These smokers’ bins from New Pig employ a very simple architecture of control – simply, sloping tops which prevent litter […]

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A bright idea?

A bright idea?

UPDATE: See this more recent post for information and photos of how to get a 2-pin bulb to fit in a BC3 fitting. This may well be the example which involves the most different ‘architecture of control’ issues so far – by a long way. […]

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