Archive for July, 2013

Manipulation and design

July 31, 2013

Interaction design is largely about removing cognitive friction or producing a happy path—in order to manipulate someone into realizing a goal. That type of manipulation is typically called “helping,” and it is often, actually, helpful.

Jon Kolko in Manipulation and Design


Cognitive drain

July 30, 2013

If your UX asks the user to make choices, for example, even if those choices are both clear and useful, the act of deciding is a cognitive drain. And not just while they’re deciding… even after we choose, an unconscious cognitive background thread is slowly consuming/leaking resources, “Was that the right choice?”

If your app is confusing and your tech support / FAQ isn’t helpful, you’re drawing down my scarce, precious, cognitive resources. If your app behaves counter-intuitively – even just once – I’ll leak cog resources every time I use it, forever, wondering, “wait, did that do what I expected?”. Or let’s say your app is super easy to use, but designed and tuned for persuasive brain hacks (“nudges”, gamification, behavioral tricks, etc.) to keep me “engaged” for your benefit, not mine (lookin’ at you, Zynga)… you’ve still drained my cognitive resources.

Kathy Sierra: Your app makes me fat

User Experience Design

July 23, 2013

Our domain is, in short, the dialog between human users and computers.
Gerd Waloszek


July 22, 2013

Wireframes are page schematics with bare-bones depictions of the components on each page and how they fit together.


  • Narrative flow
  • Visual hierarchy
  • Composition


July 17, 2013

“Innovation is always a planned activity. It solves a problem – and if it doesn’t, it will invariably create one.”

Eric Reiss writing about serendipity