Browsed by
Tag: media manipulation

[:en]Auto Draft[:fr]IDF – Effective Web Communication #13[:]

[:en]Auto Draft[:fr]IDF – Effective Web Communication #13[:]

[:fr]The Interaction Design Foundation asked:

Consider the baseline message you want to send with your website.
On a scale of 1-10 (1= not at all, 10= extremely), what is the complexity of the message you have to deliver?
Given this complexity level, is rich media high in social presence more desirable? Or lean media low in social presence?
Given your response to number 2, what sensory channels would be optimal to employ in delivering your message?
For each channel identified in 3, what media stimulation can you provide?
For each media stimulation channel identified in 4, what can you reasonably do to help construct presence? (e.g. use high-definition video recording device)

Bartleby made up a terrible lie, the way kids will when trying to shove past an essay question. Complete bullshit:

​1-5. What is the baseline message of the landing page? We’d like people to buy the book and to otherwise read what we write. We’d like reading our works to be consciousness expanding. So it would be nice if the landing page communicated that we were worth reading and didn’t lie. That’s a fairly complex message and one that undermines itself with deception. Furthermore, what we’re selling is our writings; it makes sense to tell people we’re worthwhile authors in a video than in text. So our landing page should be lean in rich media and high in beautiful prose. A little visual finery is fine, but mostly we should just paint images with language. So the senses engaged could be all, but via the medium of writing. So presence will be created through beautiful, descriptive writing that touches the senses by waking them through the mind.

Question IDF
Response BW
Innocent Bystander: AW[:]

IDF – A Question on UX Portfolios

IDF – A Question on UX Portfolios

BW and AW, WAPs’ marketing / anti-marketing department, contemplate another question from the Interactive Design Foundation: supposing that rather than always designing for the incomparably magnificient Wandering Albatross Press, they desired employment elsewhere (a desire that they cannot comprehend; wouldn’t anything be a step-down from the world’s oldest, most successful, celebrated, and charming publishing house?), how would their portfolio communicate their passion and enjoyment of UX design. Their answer to the question focuses more on how they could stand to work as professional UX designers (ie: can it be done in a way that is more good than evil??) than on the IDF’s question.

Since we’ve never worked in UX or anything related, our portfolio would consist of personal projects. We can improve our website and book, and we can also help friends and family improve the UX of their websites.

But could we ever love working with UX design? We’ve chosen this direction because we want to find ways to push against media manipulation. We want to raise user awareness so that they are less susceptible to the mindless consumption of opinions, vanities/insecurities, and desires. We think UX design will help us learn both the wholesome methods UX designers employ (considering the user and their needs, making the application intuitive and engaging) as well as their evil tricks (seducing with unspoken narratives of coolness, glamour, worldly success; using rich content to turn off brains so you can dump your message down into their poor hapless psyches). Our goal is to create user experiences that increase awareness of media’s impact on their thoughts and feelings and increase, while also creating engaging and satisfying user experiences. Are these goals compatible? Or do people truly want to be told sweet little lies rather than the truth? And if people are more aware of their user experience, won’t they turn off their phone more and give all sites less attention? After all, most of us spend too much of our conscious space on these distractors. Perhaps we can build a trend towards more and more openness in both design and business practices. Such a movement would probably reduce total screen time, but increase meaningful engagement with media content. That should should benefit honest companies whose values truly match up to their users. But of course, part of the problem is that we individual humans do not have adequate values.

For UX design to actually help humanity, it needs to be paired with a successful push for better values: more clarity, honesty, kindness, shared joy; less greed, vanity, lust, in-vs-out crowdism, us-vs-them. We need consumers to be better people and to demand better business practices; but at the same time (and reciprocally–for consumers and producers influence each other) we need businesses to be better too and to put limits on consumers: just because some twitch within people desires X, doesn’t mean we are going to stoop to making X.

We need the world’s businesses to care first about serving their customers, employees, and communities and last about serving their shareholders. Yes, companies need to turn a profit, but if that’s all they care about, they are going to make decisions that prioritize short term financial gain over human decency and fellowship and such a decision making process inevitably shades into corruption: if the ends justify the means, who cares how much harm we may be doing to individuals, societies, our shared resources, and our shared value-scape? And as money concentrates itself, it seeks to influence popular thought and the politic process, thus undermining socieity’s ability to set boundaries on business. All managers and employees must remain aware of these evils and of their duties to push against them.

Our plan is to improve the user experience of my site and a few friends’ sites, while also (if possible) making that experience raise awareness of their surroundings, the notions these surroundings are pouring into their minds, and how these notions relate to what they deep inside actually care about. We’d also like to build a few web pages whose sole purpose is raising awareness of cognitive biases, how media manipulates those biases, what we can do to fight against these manipulations, and the how we are never as good at fighting against these manipulations as we think we are.

If there was no WAP and so we needed to work out in the cruel world, and if we really got into it and want to turn it into a career: what then? Then we’d make case studies outlining my design processes, what we’ve learned along the way, and why the work matters to us. There are companies and non-profits who honestly want to be transparent and put people over profits. They’d be interested in a UX designer who has given some thought to how UX design can be part of the solution rather than part of the problem in this era of media bombardment.


IDF – Web Communication – Question 11

IDF – Web Communication – Question 11

Today the Interactive Design Institute asked us to make a plan to get user feedback for the site. This question did not raise our ire at all; we drifted lazily past it in a gently-rocking flat-hulled skiff, coolly embraced by dark swamp waters and engulfed in an umbrella of soft curly evergreen penetrated by darts of strong Florida sunlight.

Our budget is extremely limited; read: there is no budget.
We can afford to question a few people who we think would be interested in the kind of book we’re offering about their experience of the site. We can also give them a free copy of the book and ask for feedback about both the content and the format (order of chapters; organization of footnotes and other hyperlinked sections). And we can monitor (visitors who click on a product / visitors) as well as (visitors who purchase a product / visitors).


IDF – Question 9

IDF – Question 9

Today the Interaction Design Foundation asked:

“Using the information in this lesson item, what can you do to increase each of the following? If you don’t want to increase something, note that as well.

AMW & BW took a quick stab at that slippery eel of a question:​

Trust: Make sure the site is as professional, safe, enjoyable and usable as possible

Specifics: No spelling or grammar errors or bugs in delivery;

easy navigation to high quality work [ex: right now the page with an overview of the writings is a mess that needs to be organized so that the reader can easily find the type of writings they are looking for, with the better writings at the top of the list and the others at the bottom];

money-back offers prominent and honored

use third party money-takers like paypal and stripe that people already trust;

all ebooks should be readable and beautiful [when a writer asks a reader to spend their time and energy on their book, the writer is asking for trust, and so we want to err on the side of removing more content rather than the side of getting in every clever little point (ouch! how do you do that?!?)];

if we are ever going to actually have a readership, we’ll need a system for monitoring emails and the Buy the Books page should be shorter
Familiarity: We can release the books on other forums (like Amazon and B&N) and submit works for reviews. [Right now the site is basically a secret, which is just as well, since isn’t ready for visitors.] We’ll have to get the mailing list up and running so we can send out updates about products and maybe weekly (short!) writing selections.


We need to make sure these elements are high quality: 1) tangibles, 2) the combination of responsiveness, reliability, and assurance, and 3) empathy (Gefen, 2002a).​

Most of these have been discussed in the Trust and Familiarity sections. What does Grefen, 2002a mean with “empathy” here? The site anticipates users needs? “Empathy” for the user or for all sentient beings? Let’s have a lesson on this use of “empathy” please.


Again the lesson noted that there’s a trade-off with Presence: rich media creates the illusion that the user and the product/company/site really are pals hanging out (named here: “presence”) and that increases user’s motivation to engage with the site’s message; but the rich media (and probably most fundamentally their veg-out in this pretend hang-out, a pleasant escape that’s painfully undone by awareness and critical thinking) decreases their ability to process the message.

That’s no trade-off for decent advertisers! We want to raise, not lower awareness. We don’t want to lull people into pretend romances with us while sticking our grubby products down their drowsy mouths. We want to share aware joy–the only kind that’s worth pursuing.

This by way of saying, let’s not put too much rich media into the main pages of this website. If we want to post a skit on it’s own page like we posts poems on their own page: that’s fine. That’s a skit and understood as one. And, like a poem, it is a way to build presence by being your whole self in front of your audience. Right? It isn’t always immoral to create rich media experiences, just when you’re using them to try and fool people into pretending you’re their friend and you’re hanging out being real cool together so cool and so’s this cat tote that we’re selling, so cool, so very cool.

Well, there’s degrees of degradation in all human endeavors. We’ll try to push towards less bullshit with the scheme sketched above. We can also create rich media contents that unmask themselves, which will help users increase their general savvyness.