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By Petra Farinha (February 2, 2009) (,,)

1.

From the readings by Dan Lockton I guess I got lock with the question in relation with the idea of Design with Intent. As the author also affirms, isn’t all design made with an Intent? There is always an aim/an intent behind the design of an object, a toy, a product, an app, a building, no? even the most vernacular design that we can see around, has an intent, no? to produce joy, to do something, to inform, to sell, to store… to provoke?  just the word design doesn’t implies intent?
He gets more specific when he defines ” strategic design intended to result in certain user behavior” – persuasive design?

In the presentation and paper, he is trying to make us aware of  situations and show us examples in the real world and out of the scope of what we considered persuasive technology : how they can occur and persuade us to take decisions and influence behaviors. He analyzes deeply some questions that are very important to be taken in account in the design process and purpose some techniques or tools to improve it.
A better design can improve the way we use and interact with something and the design process,  if taking in consideration more it’s users and not the issues that can create noise in the process and if the idea of value is added.

I think that some of the techniques, tools and processes refer by the author even if, as the he also affirms, seems very obvious, are always good to be discussed and review.
They should be taken in consideration and applied to our own work. I liked the fact that when creating this tools and methodologies we ( several authors…not me) are also defining strategies, given them names, expressions in order to create a stronger vocabulary for our decisions (like the: forcing situations, lock on, poka -yoke…).

I think that in my own work I applied this techniques when designing websites: the way information is display and how can the user  be “persuade” to read certain information in a specific order. The navigation inside a website can have the same effect that, as  Dan was talking, the way we build our cities – they way it’s design and structure controls how people walk in the cities.

But I still have the question. Is the expression Design with Intent more appropriated to use, for example, when we talk about the work of Improv Everywhere or NegativeLand? Is it more explicit or more appropriate to use this expression  when design has the clear intent of an intervention? or a political intent? Maybe a question that is not so relevant but it made some confusing thinking about design without an intent.

2. Attempt to be persuade??

Sometimes is not so clear to us that we are being persuade. Or is it because we are already  are so used to some situations: for example, in the interview with the guy from NegativeLand, he talks about how movies sometimes ( maybe always) advertise some products. Do we care about it anymore? do we conscious notice them?

This  last week I’ve been most of time at home. I’m trying to remember any attempt of being persuade. It’s not easy. What I can think of now is the example that was already talked before, the Amazon example where other books are recommended when we make a specific search. Maybe what is important is that what started with Amazon ( not sure if started with amazon) is now so common in any web service. As an example hulu.com, or netflix. Everytime we make a search or we view a tv serie, a film, a bunch of other ” items” are offer to us as similar choices. In someway is a very good system: tries to improved our search in this big mass of information and reduce our work in trying to find something similar and that maybe is related to us.

Last semester we did an exercise in a class that was based on that data. We pick a book and then see the other books that Amazon was given us as similar choices. What happen and still happen today is that I get always the same reference books since I always or most of the times search for similar themes. The system is design to give me the most popular books, independent of what kind of theme I am looking for. It doesn’t suprise me anymore or even I can say that we doesn’t persuade me as before. Do I still keep looking to them? yes but I guess that this kind of systems could be improved and more specific to  it’s users.

I’m thinking of what I would like to have a suggestion of? Maybe a movie related to the book or maybe a cd. Maybe more references to the author or other books that he/she wrote but not so popular.Maybe a complete different book, that talks about the opposite topic – something that suprised me and that somehow I feel that is responding to me, to my searches and not so generalist system that works ok and is pretty good but very predictable.


February 2, 2009


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