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March 18, 2016 - No Comments!

UX Talk: Psychology in Experience Design

UX is focussed on user needs. And to discover user needs, we run through a “discovery” phase. But, what if people don’t know their needs? Or the needs discovered are distracted, irrelevant or not deep enough to really satisfy the designer.

A good experience designer wants to seek out deep motivations: Motivations that oftentimes the users themselves do not acknowledge. This is where experience design, for me, encroaches the territory of psychology.

My ultimate goal as an experience designer is to design experiences that enable the user to grow, to realise themselves: This requires that I know what the user desires, what their dreams are — what they want to become.

As psychologists know, desires are often buried in the subconscious, actively blocked by the conscious mind. So how can an experience designer uncover people’s deepest desires and make them a reality? Will experience designers need a degree in psychology?

Steve Jobs famously stated: “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them”.

Do good filmmakers “get out of the building” and ask their audience what they want to watch? Sure, there are industries that create products according to market research. But are these the really great products? Are films designed by committee the really great movies of all time?

I’ll research this and make another post.

originally posted on my Medium account

February 11, 2016 - No Comments!

How to do good without an effort

A friend of mine recently sent an email round with a list of links and plugins that allow us to "do good" via charitable plugins and tools, without any effort. Plugins like AdBlock for Good, and Tabs for a Cause which show ads that donate to charities.  Here in this post I dutifully repost this veritable goldmine of goodness. Please partake, and share with your friends.

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January 20, 2016 - No Comments!

Why I learned to code

Imagine walking into a library and not being able to read. That is how I felt to be living in this age of information and data without being able to code. Data is everywhere, hence information is everywhere.

I work in tech, and as such I am privy to common knowledge (in the tech world) that many people are not aware of. Do you know I could reach out (into the internet) and pull together a very decent profile of everyone who is/has been in my vicinity with relative ease? People who “check-in”, or post messages using Geo-location on their phone, for example, are fair game online. A cross reference here and there and I have a decent file on you. Especially if you have a unique identifier (like a telephone number).

Snooping is of very little interest to me. But I do like the idea of being able to use code to gather information and empower me to make decisions. Small scripts (of code) — which can even be considered simple robots — are not difficult to create and can run a whole slew of boring tasks for you: searching for an apartment, ordering regular deliveries and so on. And once the Fridge starts to join the conversation, being able to “boss” my appliances around makes code even more appealing. (Right now, my Fridge is deaf and mute, but soon, oh so soon…)

I decided that code is important and learned to code. Except, like any language, it’s difficult to become “fluent”. It requires constant practice. So, I continue to study, and write minimal scripts, and sharpen my fluency, as I wait for the day when I find writing code as easy as writing these sentences, and I watch the world turn around me, and I say “wow, did I really make that happen?”.

First published on my Medium account.

June 15, 2015 - No Comments!

Plain text is the best UX

As a UX designer I've evolved to understand that plain text, simple, humble text is the greatest possible user interface (yes, greater than voice - probably not so great as telepathy). Plain text, plain words, carefully constructed if possible - rich in vocabulary, and clear in intent is purest communication.

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June 26, 2014 - No Comments!

Getting Paid on the Fly

This is why I love subscribing to SaaS services - new features, no extra cost!  Harvest just made a free update to their invoicing service so that "Harvesters" (you know, people who use Harvest for their time tracking and stuff - yeah, I just made it up) can get paid even if their client is on holiday - no more excuses to delay, lovely!

This is what the internet is all about.  Keep up the great work guys.

Say Hello to Getting Paid on the Fly | HARVEST Time Tracking and Invoicing Blog.

July 24, 2013 - No Comments!

My Experience on oDesk

I ran into oDesk recently, and had a play with it:  Long story short - it has a clean UI but the fees are a joke, I pity the souls who may be forced to use it.  Clients on oDesk have tight budgets - that's ok - but oDesk skims it at every turn: between 10% commissions, withdrawal fees (even on Paypal), 6 day "settle periods" and currency arbitrage you'll need to spike your bid by 20% to come clean and order your food by cheque to balance payments. Not a recommended marketplace for professionals.

“Start doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

  • Saint Francis of Assisi -

On Success, #

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”

– Henry Ford -

On Focus, #