All posts filed under “Norms

Thoughts on the ‘fun theory’

Thoughts on the ‘fun theory’

The ‘Piano Staircase’ from Volkswagen’s thefuntheory.com The Fun Theory (Rolighetsteorin), a competition / campaign / initiative from Volkswagen Sweden – created by DDB Stockholm – has been getting a lot of attention in the last couple of weeks from both design-related people and other commentators […]

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The ‘You Are Here’ Use-mark

The ‘You Are Here’ Use-mark

Who really needs a “You Are Here” marker when other visitors’ fingers have done the work for you? (Above, in Florence; below, in San Francisco) Use-marks, like desire paths, are a kind of emergent behaviour record of previous users’ perceptions (and perceived affordances), intentions, behaviours […]

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Designed environments as learning systems

Designed environments as learning systems

How much of designing an environment is consciously about influencing how people use it? And how much of that influence is down to users learning what the environment affords them, and acting accordingly? The first question’s central what this blog’s been about over the last […]

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Stuff that matters: Unpicking the pyramid

Stuff that matters: Unpicking the pyramid

Most things are unnecessary. Most products, most consumption, most politics, most writing, most research, most jobs, most beliefs even, just aren’t useful, for some scope of ‘useful’. I’m sure I’m not the first person to point this out, but most of our civilisation seems to […]

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The detail of everyday interaction

The detail of everyday interaction

Understanding what people really do when they carry out some ‘simple’ task, as opposed to what designers assume they do, is important. Even something as mundane as boiling a kettle to make a cup of tea or coffee is fraught with variability, slips, mistaken assumptions […]

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Thoughtful Acts

Thoughtful Acts

Above & below: ‘Push’ Table by Jennifer Hing. Jane Fulton Suri‘s wonderful Thoughtless Acts? chronicles, visually, “those intuitive ways we adapt, exploit, and react to things in our environment; things we do without really thinking” – effectively, examples of valid affordances perceived by users, which […]

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So long, and thanks for all the rubbish

So long, and thanks for all the rubbish

It cost nothing to put this (trilingual) thank-you message on this litter bin at Helsinki Airport. But does this kind of message – a very simple injunctive norm – have more effect on user behaviour than the absence of a message? To what extent does […]

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Motel 6cc

Motel 6cc

The plastic* of this built-in Dove shower cream bottle I encountered in a Finnish hotel recently was significantly stiffer than the consumer retail version. The idea is that you press the side of the bottle where indicated to dispense some cream, but it didn’t deform […]

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Chute the messenger

Chute the messenger

This is a communal rubbish chute serving a block of flats. The cross-sectional area of the aperture revealed by opening the hatch should be smaller than the cross-sectional area of the chute itself, so there’s less chance of rubbish bags getting stuck, even when someone […]

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Persuasion & control round-up

Persuasion & control round-up

New Scientist: Recruiting Smell for the Hard Sell Samsung’s coercive atmospherics strategy involves the smell of honeydew melon: THE AIR in Samsung’s flagship electronics store on the upper west side of Manhattan smells like honeydew melon. It is barely perceptible but, together with the soft, […]

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In default, defiance

In default, defiance

‘Choice of default’ is a theme which has come up a few times on the blog: in general, many people accept the options/settings presented to them, and do not question or attempt to alter them. The possibilities for controlling or shaping users’ behaviour in this […]

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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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Bad profits

Bad profits

The Gillette Sensor Excel not only comes with a dummy blade, it also only comes with two out of five possible blade slots filled. Images from Sevenblock on Flickr. The razor-blade model in general is something of an old chestnut as far as architectures of […]

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