Editor’s Note: This post has been written by Dr. Tony Self of HyperWrite. Tony will delivering DITA training during October at Cherryleaf’s training centre in London.
UX Magazine recently published an article called How Deceptive Is Your Persuasive Design, by Chris Nodder. The article hasn’t got a lot to do with UX (user experience) design, although Nodder’s book, Evil by Design, certainly does.
The article highlights ways in which eCommerce Web sites deceive customers in order to entice them to buy a product or service, and makes us think about where the dividing line sits between persuasion and deception. Nodder included a little diagram to help illustrate that”evil” design can be identified as design that benefits the designer without any corresponding benefit to the customer. He categorises ”commercial” as being a design that benefits both designer and customer, leaving ”charitable” to describe designs where the benefit is to society as a whole rather than to designer or customer.
This thought-provoking article (and diagram) got me thinking about whether the adherence to page layout design in technical communication for online transmission of information might fit this category of ”evil”.