Designing for people who don't want to use your service

by @edent | # # | 5 comments | Read ~295 times.
A government website.

I've been building digital products and services since the dial-up era. I spent many years working in the private sector. Good design is seen as a necessity. Customers will switch to another service which is easier to use, has a better app, or offers a nicer experience. I now work in the public sector, where…

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Book Review: Mismatch by Kat Holmes

by @edent | # # #
Book Cover of Mismatch.

In Mismatch, Kat Holmes describes how design can lead to exclusion, and how design can also remedy exclusion. Inclusive design methods—designing objects with rather than for excluded users—can create elegant solutions that work well and benefit all. Holmes tells stories of pioneers of inclusive design, many of whom were drawn to work on inclusion because of their own experiences of exclusion.

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Falsehoods programmers believe about flags

by @edent | # # # # | 2 comments | Read ~2,134 times.
A dropdown box showing the flag of Canada next to a plus 1.

(For more about the "Falsehoods" meme - read the big list of falsehoods programmers believe.) Do You Want To Phone A Friend? A popular website asked me to confirm my phone number. It "helpfully" pre-filled the country-code with +1. And proudly displayed the Stars and Stripes. Except, of course, the USA isn't the only country…

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The Myth of the Pixel Perfect Grid

by @edent | # # # # | Read ~4,117 times.
The letter E displayed on various screens. Each renders differently.

If you've spent any time with graphic designers, you'll know that they love spending your money on imperceptible tweaks to your image files. "It must be pixel-perfect!" they cry. When you query why they've generated the same icon in multiple sizes, each with subtle variations, they cryptically mention how everything must align with "the grid."…

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Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Families

by @edent | # # # # | 3 comments | Read ~5,359 times.

I've written before about Solipsist design - those services which have been designed to work only for a very specific type of family. I was taking a look at Google's "Family" proposition - which allows users to share their purchases with other family members. What I found didn't impress me. File under "Falsehoods Programmers Believe…

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Headphones displaying album art

by @edent | # # # # | 1 comment
A woman wearing headphones.

Many years ago, when I worked for a mobile phone company, a group of us were encouraged to come up with crazy ideas which the organisation could patent. I had one idea come this close to getting through until someone found an unnervingly similar patent and the whole thing was dropped. Well, it has been…

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The Design Of Everyday Toilets

by @edent | # # # # # | 1 comment | Read ~117 times.

Another in my occasional series on the usability of toilets! It's hard wandering around seeing the mistakes which are made by designers. Perhaps it's poor keming on fonts, or a hotel room light switch which makes no sense, or - in my case - bogs. Lots of toilets incorporate a "dual flush." Press one button…

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Make Facebook (and other sites) Less Annoying Using CSS

by @edent | # # # # | Read ~828 times.

I'm really late to the party on this one - so this blog post is mostly an aide-mémoire. The web is built on three fundamental components: HTML - the structure of the page. CSS - how the page is styled. JavaScript - the interactivity. Typically, the website owner sets up the CSS to say links…

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