LEGO House model made with LEGO
LEGO House model made with LEGO

“You take a wild idea, that is pure fiction, and you turn it into a hard fact.” — Bjarke Ingels.

Bjarke Ingels is one of the most distinguished and innovative architects of our time.

One would think Architecture would be his passion growing up, but instead, he wanted to be an illustrator/cartoonist, and design his own graphic novels. In the hopes of becoming better and more competent at drawing and sketching, he pursued Architecture from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts for Architecture. He continued his studies at the Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura in Barcelona.

Bjarke worked under Rem Koolhaas, one of the worlds most renowned architects, for 3 years, which was an eye-opener for him, in both positive and deeply negative ways. He observed that Koolhaas’ projects reflected social, political and technological situations, instead of being an autonomous art form, he realised that the fun in architecture didn’t exist there because it was far too tethered by reality. …

Designing for all.

The intro banner portraying diversity
The intro banner portraying diversity
Source: Billy Clark on Dribbble

Inclusive Design is a design practice where products and services are designed in a way that they are accessible and can serve as many people as possible, regardless of their age, gender, or ability.

Inclusive Design puts people at the centre stage of the design process. It helps designers understand how to best satisfy human requirements in order to achieve ubiquitous ease of use.

Empathy is an integral part of the Inclusive Design system, it serves the designer a great deal to think of the limitations and motivations that drive all types of humans.

Designing for inclusion brings into light the opportunities product designers have to serve people across the board, designing for the differently able is essentially designing for everyone. …

Image for post
Image for post
Source: Kasia Bojanowska on Dribbble

Product design is now a mainstay in the working vocabularies of companies worldwide. We’d go so far as saying that it (product designs) may now be entering the portion of its lifespan where strategic maturity and academic thought are now taking up the centre stage as the cheap tricks and skin deep strategies cant hold up to the lofty tasks at hand that product designers will have to solve in this coming decade.

With that in mind, we have compiled a set of research papers which have a sometimes obvious and sometimes not-so-obvious link into product design. All in all, the idea is to create a list of resources that help back up your cognitive process when thinking out the broad strokes of how you can approach your product. …

What makes a Unicorn Frappuccino so irresistible?

Starbucks holiday cup
Starbucks holiday cup
Image Source: Jasmin Schuler on Unsplash

Recently, Starbucks introduced a special limited drink, Unicorn Frappuccino, in its menu for just five days. The customers started racing in to get hold of that beautiful, color-changing rare beverage before it ran out. The response was exceptional. One outlet sold over 500 of these in one day.

Do you think there would be the same response or flooding in of customers for that one drink if it were available all year round?

The “available for five days only” proposition did the trick. This is known as artificial scarcity.

What is artificial scarcity?

Artificial scarcity refers to a perceived scarcity of items, where the items’ availability is portrayed to be less than what it actually is. This creates an illusion that the item stock is on the brink of running out, even though in reality, that need not be the case. …

Icons designed by Susan Kare
Icons designed by Susan Kare
Source: Quartz

“I learned a lot about the cumulative value of attention to detail from Steve Jobs, and about pushing the limits of a medium. I still think about his philosophy of not showing too much information at once and the value of simplicity in visual messaging.” — Susan Kare

Isn’t it interesting how we see a trash can icon, and we immediately think “delete,” or maybe see a floppy disk icon (even though we don’t use floppy disks anymore), and we automatically think “save”? Well, it certainly hasn’t always been this way.

These ‘iconic’ icons (apologies for the bad wordplay) have roots that go back to the 1980s. Susan Kare, popularly known as the Woman who gave Macintosh a smile, designed this icon suite for Apple which was planning to release in 1984 which took the world by storm for decades to come. …

Putting the ‘human’ in human-computer interaction.

Intro Banner Image for UX Writing
Intro Banner Image for UX Writing
Source: Marie Fauritte on Dribbble

Every so often, product teams will decouple the relationship between the visual design, experience and content. However, in the greater scheme of things, interface, UX, and content are part of the same battle, neither one can be looked at as a singular key for success.

In the case of interface, because it is at its core, a visual format, it becomes the prime focus for change. UX is heavily focused on from the get-go primarily because the customer experience will be key for the business teams to help on mastering.

However, in the crucial link between interface and experience, content is ignored. In many senses, content is just an extension of the UI and UX to make the visuals brighter, experiences more delightful, and adds to the overall success of the product. …

Accomplishment illustration image
Accomplishment illustration image
Image Credits: 伍陆柒 on Dribbble

TGI Fridays is a solid spot to pig out at, particularly with the kind of platters they serve. Those platters are good enough to keep me hooked, but they have another little tactic at play, which keeps me coming back, their rewards system. I earn 1 point for each dollar spent, and after I have collected a certain amount of points, I get rewarded with a free dish!

What’s better is that they offer a free appetiser just for joining ‘Fridays rewards’, to get things started.

This head start gave me the motivation to further pursue the reward system.

This is the Endowed Progress Effect. …

Man repairing a cycle’s wheel
Man repairing a cycle’s wheel
Source: Ranganathan Krishnamani on Dribbble

Imagine, Apple decides to come up with the idea of a new keyboard with keys in alphabetical order, would it be convenient for you? Or, one day a car manufacturer decides to switch the accelerator and brake pedals, that would just wreak havoc.

Generally, discomfort is caused, if there’s a deviation from standard designs. Creativity sometimes needs to take a back seat for the sake of an important feature, predictability.

Users usually like to be able to anticipate what an experience will be like, based on past experiences.

Jakob’s Law:

The psychology behind what causes user behaviour changes.

Hero Image
Hero Image
Illustration by Ivan Haidutski from Icons8

Psychology is a deep, embedded element in the realm of design. Several elves of psychology work together, to oil the wheels of digital products to influence and encourage the users into making certain decisions and make a positive impact.

It can be challenging to understand, in an organised manner, what might be the key elements that “drive” human behaviour to complete any task.

So, what causes behaviour change?

A Lego construction
A Lego construction

Have you ever tried “Make Your Own Tacos”, where the tortillas, different sauces, cheese and veggies come separated, and you get to assemble these to make your final product? Or perhaps a deconstructed cocktail, where they hand you over its separate components and get you to mix the drink? (Thanks for making me pay for a drink you didn’t even make, btw.)

Droid Depot at the Walt Disney World Resort lets customers construct their very own droids, and pay a premium price for their own creations and customisation.

These companies are using what’s called “The IKEA Effect” here.

So, what is the IKEA Effect?

When people partially create a product, they tend to value it more than its ready-made counterpart. This perceived value of the product for the creator is primarily influenced by a cognitive bias called “The IKEA Effect” (since IKEA lets its customers assemble their own furniture). …


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