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July 24, 2006

Support user behaviour; with force

All design forces certain behaviour, both intendend and unintended. Architecture (of any kind) also does this. Intended forced design is usually referred to as functionality, which has the ideal user process in mind. Especially these days where all roadblocks to the online user shall be removed, I think it is time for some counter measures.

This can go in different directions. On the one hand, when something it is hard to get it can become more valuable; so let them put in some effort (this approach is used on some viral marketing campaigns like for the Microsoft Xbox 360). On the other hand you could design to prevent or even punish unwanted behaviour. This is actually inspired by Malinese chief-houses that are characterized by big impressive roofs that are so low to the ground that you can only sit under them. The reasoning behind this: the low roof prevents people from jumping up in disagreement when tough decisions are being made, or differently; good decisions can only be made when everybody is calm and (physically) positioned for the task at hand.

Posted by Almar at July 24, 2006 07:39 PM