Ethics and Emotion in Controlled Experiments

Users interest are relentlessly changing all the time and their attention span are as short as they have ever been.  Given this companies are constantly thinking of new ways to maintain engagement with their users.  Sometimes that comes in the form of change with their product and how the user interacts with them.  It’s understood that with every potential change, whether major or minor, testing should always be involved. … Continue Reading »

Ethics in Usability Research: Exposing Dark Patterns



User experience professionals are currently positioned as the greatest potential perpetrators of, as well as the first line of defense against abusive design. We must understand the nuanced modus operandi behind dark design practices and examine our own and others’ context, intent,, and execution. This discussion on dark patterns seeks to encourage our Pratt community to advocate for user-centric design as future professionals.… Continue Reading »

What is the Hawthorne Effect?


During usability research, there could be many cognitive biases happened that finally violate the accuracy of the data. Both researchers and users can have biases, such as framing effect, confirmation bias, social desirability bias, etc (Subramanian, 2018). Here I would like to introduce one of the cognitive bias, called the Hawthorne effect.

What is the Hawthorne effect?

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Internal Review: Ethical Concerns of C/D Testing by Private Companies



A/B testing has long been a tactic for companies evaluatingtwo versions of a landing page, web page or mobile app feature” (Rawat). The most common A/B scenario involves changing aesthetic details like button size or graphics adjustments and deploying those changes among active users to test their effect. However, the ethical impropriety of major social networks exempt from the federal “common rule” have created a sinister perversion of the A/B test that is deeper, more deceptive, and reliant on implicit rather than informed consent.Continue Reading »

Bringing Order to The Chaos: How to Arouse Curiosity and Encourage Pattern Seeking Behavior

All designers should aim for an experience that removes as much friction as possible and creates a usable digital experience. However, it is rare to simply want to create something that just exists. It should be interactive, people should be motivated to use the product.

To create such a product that aims to engage the user, designers often use surprising and different approaches in their designs.… Continue Reading »

The Need for Control – What We Can Learn from Placebo Button

If you checked the design principles of making good designs, you’ll easily find out that good design always has a high correlation with psychology. For most of the time, human beings need to “understand” the design through all our sensations. We see objects to read the signifier that would help us to make the first move, then we touch it to check the logic mainly based on the mapping logic through the feedback.… Continue Reading »

Designing for (Dis)engagement


As designers, we always hear how important it is that our deliverables ensure user engagement and interaction, elicit responses and delight. This focus on engagement is pervasive, from how successful UX is measured to auto-play, and gamification – design elements meant to get users involved with their devices. But what is the psychological impact of ubiquitous tech and how are users pushing back?… Continue Reading »

Design Critique: Google Voice – Text Messaging



During my time supporting a US defense project, I found myself more privy to my privacy needs and started using a Google Voice number as an alternate to my real number for calls, texting and online usage.

Google Voice gives you a phone number for calling, text messaging, and voicemail. It works on smartphones and computers and syncs across your devices so you can use the app in the office, at home, or on the go.… Continue Reading »