Anti-design. Part 3 (last). Unobvious tricks

    Design is not only design, but also the construction of a solution to a specific problem. A good designer can predict consumer behavior for his product. It will make it not only beautiful, but also convenient to use. In necessary places, he will put out tips, prevent misuse. Therefore, design is associated with psychology and behavior, and the designer actually programs the possible paths of the consumer’s thoughts.

    But can a designer only worry about a consumer? After all, he has customers who pursue their own goals, and the designer himself is also a person. He has needs, he wants money, peace of mind. A good designer is a good psychologist who can manipulate human behavior. It doesn’t cost him to step on the dark side of the force, and use his skills not to solve real problems, but to extract selfish benefits, enrichment at the expense of the environment, our wallet and your health.

    In past articles ( 1 , 2) I showed how anti-design - the application of the laws of design to benefit unfairly - can lead to the creation of lies, manipulation of public opinion, the creation of entire "industries-bloodsuckers", feeding due to the complexity of our lives.

    In this article I will talk about non-obvious anti-design techniques. They take their roots from the obvious techniques described earlier, and in my examples they will seem more likely psychological than design. But then they are not obvious, to mimic and surface in the most unexpected situations and products.

    1. Mechanical obstacles

    When a person reads a book and sees on one page a graph along with a description, he does not need to use his memory. If you transfer the graph to another page, a person will have to leaf the book back and forth to check it for compliance with the description. This way you can hide small inaccuracies in one or the other.

    In business, artificial obstacles are often raised when you need to strangle a product. Suppose a company bought a competing DBMS, and to stifle its popularity, it hides the technical documentation further away on its website, covering with a heap of assurances that it will continue to support and value the users it has got. Only the most persistent fans of such a DBMS will overcome all difficulties in order to continue using their favorite product.

    At one time, the prices of mobile operators were similar to soul-slaughter agreements. The number of footnotes and footnotes to footnotes went wild. Of course, in order to read the note, it was necessary to turn the sheet over, and then also make out the scanty letters that it was typed in.

    If such a trick is hard to hide, then it still seems obvious. Let's move on to trickier things. They are under the cut

    2. Inertia of thinking

    Most people lead a measured habitual lifestyle that has evolved over the years. Road, work, road, TV - the daily repetition of the same operations creates inertia of thinking. It is very difficult to maintain a lively mind and a willingness to perceive the new, when you do the same things every day, and the mind is bombarded with the same communication messages.

    The inertia of thinking is a terrible thing. Here is an illustration. The Norwegian Embassy once introduced a visa portal. Right on their website, you can slowly fill out a questionnaire for a Schengen visa in several steps, pay a fee by credit card, set an appointment time and come exactly at it, bypassing the queue.

    All the walls of the visa department are glued with calls to use the portal, but a whole crowd of people continues to storm the doors and ask each other how to fill out a questionnaire, well, simply because it is unusual and scary to do this through the site.

    But we are not talking about following inertia - this is obvious - but about the opposite of it. Like a tennis player, catching the masses of people on the desire for one thing, the anti-designer sends the ball to the other side. The unfortunate opponent is unable to extinguish his own move and the defenseless is stretched on the court.

    We are used to the fact that companies are trying to push their brand. Promotions are painted in corporate colors at the very top. But this ad Akado hits the other corner. Throwing a stack of branding books into the fireplace, their marketers pretended to be ... nobody. Advertising works on the counter to the flashy colorful offers of other companies. The use of phrases such as "in our house" spurs even more confidence in the message. After all, it is clear that this is one of the neighbors who wrote the announcement, and they have more confidence than these obscure offices with a suspicious reputation.

    3. False important

    On the page, the eyes are first focused on the most prominent object. This technique is often used to highlight the important.

    But do not forget that the author of the product imposed this importance on you. Nothing prevents him from creating a false important - to hide really necessary information in the shadow of a bright captivating eye blende

    The most necessary information should always be highlighted large and bold.

    The anti-designer will do the opposite. How many people while looking at this article will notice the highlighted statement, but will not read these very lines? So many will be deceived in this way.

    4. Fishing

    No other thought will seem more correct to a person than that to which he himself has come.

    In the fishing method, the bait is one or more premises, from which there remains one step before the conclusion necessary for the manipulator. The example of a Google poster (they were thus looking for talented workers in the picture) - positive. But he is only an illustration of how people will be motivated to stay with what they have reached with their own mind, even if they understand that the conclusion was specially programmed by the authors.

    5. Direct manipulation

    An important technique in the design of interfaces is a powerful method of welding a person to a certain model of behavior.

    To give a person to steer with a simple model or a toy means to form his view of a certain process. But the model is not the real world. All laws in it are set by the author. Having formed a user’s joyful delusion about his ability to control the process, patched it up with his client and sent to the mercy of the real world, manipulator companies act unworthily.

    Of course, modeling and prototyping is an important tool with many advantages. Without models it is impossible to do anything worthwhile.

    But all participants working with the model should clearly understand that this is a model, a layout, an assumption about how everything will look in reality, and not the real thing. The customer can only be shown the jeep of the future site and not explained how it will work. At the same time, it may be concealed that some functionality will be completely different from what it appears in the picture.

    6. Round dance

    Unfortunately, I could not recall the exact description of one experiment, but its essence is this: a chain of brainless caterpillars crawls one after another, and each caterpillar goes to the same place as the previous one. The experimenters lured the chain onto the rim of the flower pot and made the leader consider the last caterpillar to be his leader. As a result, they all walked in circles one after another until they died of hunger.

    People’s thoughts can be made to dance around logical tasks, controversial situations and insoluble issues, like the same caterpillars.

    It is enough to show them some spectacular controversial concept, and everyone will discuss it until they turn blue, not seeing that they are simply distracted from something else. That which should not be made public and discussed.

    The Christmas tree is (here) a controversial subject around which people will tirelessly dance around, not noticing that Santa Claus is long gone.

    Christmas trees are a very often used technique by manipulating public opinion and forcing out camouflage informational noise.

    7. Emotional attack

    Man cannot live without emotions.

    Having watered his ad-libbing appeal with a sweet-smelling sauce of emotions, the company can achieve anything from heated readers. It just can't help but work.

    However, such frank calls as in the picture above are quickly recognized and boring. But a more subtle game on the strings of passions can achieve the desired train of thought.

    By posting an absurd photograph, the author of the post in the picture aroused a feeling of disdain for Medvedev among the readers. And then, under this feeling, I inserted my thought about bad phones in the Kremlin, forcing everyone to at least emotionally agree with him.

    Emotions in many ways evoke keywords that a person sees in the text, and which are endowed with a special meaning for him.

    Seeing the mention of Apple, Microsoft, Stream, or Someone's Name on the Habré Cannot be pronounced, the person starts up a half-turn. He is ready to write passionate comments, plus, minus, steal, rape and kill.

    Crybaby - (here) the author of a text or advertising message that conducts an attack on people's feelings to achieve a goal that is beneficial only to him.

    Since we are humans, not robots, crybaby will always exist. Our emotions will always be used so that we do what we do not want.

    8. Appeal to the individual

    One of the components of the persuasiveness of speech is the personality of the author. When the author has not yet made himself a personality, he can always use someone else.

    It is one thing when a famous and respected person is quoted to illustrate his own thought. It is completely different when his statements begin to mix with their own.

    However, the truth of the statement can always be verified. But often the very presence of a famous person puts the product at a different level of trust.

    It seemed, where and why did Linus Torvalds come from here? Yes, in general, absolutely nowhere and no reason. But since he was called up to the post, he would automatically approve of him. This technique is often used in advertising. In leaflets, posters and TV, popular actors, athletes and other personalities are generally called to nothing related to the advertised goods in everyday life.

    Everyone wants to cling to someone else's success. Poyuzat piece of fame, it's so nice. But this is a manipulation. It makes people confuse real things and the images they know of a completely different subject. Such manipulation is almost guaranteed to bring extra points, and therefore will always remain popular.


    So, I have outlined some obvious and non-obvious anti-design techniques. With their help, unscrupulous companies and people manipulate your mind. They make you do things you don’t want to do. They can make you thoughtlessly part with money and neglect objective values, including the health of you and your loved ones.

    The designer’s job is to manage consumer behavior, but only the conscience of the designer decides whether it will be applied for the benefit or for personal gain.

    I believe that warned means armed. Knowing the existence of anti-design methods, we can recognize them in time. Do not succumb to puppetry and provocation. Think for themselves. Be smart, competent and strong people.

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