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Thinking

Designer morals.

Should a designer or design team choose who they work for and who they don’t? Or is it better for designers to remain impartial to their clients’ politics and do the best job they can for whomever is paying them? We take a look at the issue of designer morals and the questions it raises.

Placebo Design.

Did you know that cyclists perform athletically better when they are ‘told’ they have taken a caffeine enhancement over when they actually do take a caffeine enhancement (Beedie et al, 2006). Also, people who thought they were drinking Vodka all night performed significantly worse on tests of memory – even though they were actually only[…]

Experiment results.

If you’re a regular visitor to ¡Design Thinkers! you might remember that last winter we launched a small experiment and asked you to take a short survey to help (you can see the original article here). The idea behind this was to conduct an informal (and not very robust) experiment on the effect packaging design[…]

The Art of Play: Real rules for location-based gaming

In location-based games, location is everything. Construction, a cold front or finals week could entirely derail you. A parade, an unusual character in a storefront or a sunny spring day could make your game the memorable, wonderful thing that people talk about for years.The video game Zelda will be the same Zelda in any environment-[…]

Gangs, Gongs and Government.

Gamification and Democracy. Here’s a confession. I’m having a love-hate relationship with Gamification at the moment. When I first came across the idea, I thought “brilliant” – make dull things fun by turning them into games, or game-like by incorporating the “mechanics” you find in games. Dullest of the dull is housework so you might[…]

Gamification for Newbies.

As you may have already gathered this edition of ¡Design Thinkers! is a special on ‘gamification’. Over the past year or so its a word that has been gaining popularity and even breaking into everyday lingo for many. However, it’s not fully clear what it actually means or what impact it may (or may not)[…]

Ignorance, needs and wants – The psychology of brand choices.

Lining up at the supermarket checkout waiting to buy the shopping, I look in my trolley and see around 50 items. I wonder who put them there and how he chose them. I know I physically took the items off the shelves and put them in the trolley, but I have no idea of why[…]

The psychology of co-design?

In the last few years the term ‘co-design’ has cropped up more and more in design circles and even in popular culture to the extent I would say it qualifies for the term ‘zeitgeist’. Like every new term it initially struggled for a definition being mixed with similar areas such as participatory design, co-discovery and[…]

A winter experiment.

For some it was the season to be merry, for others it was the time for coughs and sneezes. Whilst looking for comfort in my local chemist I was struck by the bewildering array of medicines on offer and an idea for a small experiment came to me. So here it is, the first experiment[…]

Are we really Appy, or have we got our head in the Cloud?

“Cloud computing represents the next frontier” – Steve Ballmer, CEO Microsoft The term cloud computing has been around for a while now and we have been getting used to key people telling us it’s a really big deal. The idea that our data will no longer be held on our personal computers but instead be[…]