Internet Nutrition Labels

Imagine walking into a grocery store that is full of packaged foods with no nutrition or ingredient labels. You find a box of cereal with an attractive drawing on the front. On the surface, the cereal looks good and the brand seems trustworthy, but you are completely clueless about what you are actually purchasing.

Now think about the last time you read an article on a website. The page may have been attractive and the graphics clear, but do you know who wrote the content? Could you ascertain the author’s motivation for writing the piece?

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Matching Expectations

Have you ever noticed how jarring it can be when an interface betrays your expectations? There are many properties of the physical world that we expect will be consistent in digital interfaces, but when designers ignore those concepts we can become confused. Sophia Prater outlines three strategies for designing digital interfaces that match human expectations from the physical world in this Good Read. Read the article here.


Brains Are Not Computers

Humans do not process or store information the same way computers do and yet scientists continually talk about humans as if they were computers. This type of thinking limits how we explore cognitive science and needs to be changed to advance our understanding of humans. In this Good Read Robert Epstein explores the problem of the computer metaphor and suggests that it be deleted. Read the article here.


The Advertising Techniques to Avoid

Advertising has annoyingly become a persistent part of the internet, but some styles are more intrusive and hated than others. Nielsen Norman Group ran a series of tests to determine which advertising techniques are most abhorred on mobile and desktop websites. Check out the results of the research in this Good Read here

Uber’s Psychology Tricks

Many companies use behavioral psychology to drive sales, but those strategies are often hidden from consumers. A new revealing article by Noam Scheiber of the New York Times details a variety of techniques Uber uses to motivate its drivers. Read the Good Read here: link


Using Consistency to Defeat Confusion

Click. Click. Huh?

Browsing a website to read articles by clicking on links is a fairly standardized interaction. A user sees something of interest, clicks on a link, and is directed to another part of the same website that displays whatever he or she desires to read. This simple interaction is consistent throughout most of the internet.

But sometimes websites do not follow this convention creating moments of confusion that sound like ‘Click. Click. Huh?’.

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Mind Reading Interfaces

Locked-in syndrome can leave patients completely paralyzed with no way to indicate to the world that they are still conscious, but some people with this condition have been able to use eye coded communication. Researchers in Europe have created a brain computer interface that measures brain activity to allow patients who have lost the ability to make any movements to indicate ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in response to questions. Although the system is limited, it offers a peek at the future of brain computer interfaces. Read MIT Technology Review’s article about the exciting new interface here.


User Research and the Hawthorne Effect

Valid research is essential for successful product development, but it can easily become tainted in a variety of ways. The Hawthorne effect is a well-known and controversial concept that has implications for user research. This post will describe the Hawthorne effect, the issues it may cause during user research, and suggestions for mitigating the phenomena.

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Driving User Behavior

Most modern websites are user friendly and easy to browse, but that does not mean users will continually interact with them. There are many subtle, but powerful design choices that lead to more conversions. In this Good Read, Igor Gubaidulin outlines the basics of designing for Persuasion, Emotion, and Trust to increase conversions. Read on here: Link


Are You Ready for Mixed Reality?

Virtual, augmented, and mixed reality have recently become buzzwords and many companies are working to create products that implement them. Although we are still years away from mixed reality being a part of everyday life, Lucas Rizzotto describes the exciting possibilities of this new technology in this Good Read. Link