Senior Product Designer @Fitbit, writing about product design and psychology. http://davidteodorescu.com

How our decisions are influenced by other people and why that should be a good thing.

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Imagine you’re on a first date.

After some good coffee and a nice conversation, you’re entering a movie theatre where you see the following movie posters:

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Winter Sleep, Slender Man and United Passions

You’ve already mentioned your great taste in movies so your date is pretty excited and asks you to pick one.

So, go ahead and choose one of them. I’ll wait.

3…

2…

1…

All good?

I’m guessing you probably winged it, right? That’s what I would have done because I’ve never heard of these.

However, it would be a shame to ruin a nice date and waste 2 hours of your lives so what if the posters were accompanied by…


How to build a gamification system the right way and how Fitbit, Waze, and Duolingo use it to enhance their products.

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When I was young, I remember my mother telling me I can go play only after I finish my homework. Which was goddam frustrating at the time. But thinking about this, I realise that most of the things I was doing back then were automatically classified into 2 groups:

  • a fun group — when I was allowed to play games or eat chocolate
  • a serious group— when I had to go to school or eat greens (the horror!)

Now, when I’m all grown up, I think about the things we do online and, ironically, it’s a similar situation. We send emails, buy stuff or book tickets and take these very seriously. But we also have fun wasting time on Instagram or watching videos of a hydraulic press crushing gummy bears on Youtube because… 🤔 Anyway. …


Short analysis on the current state of affairs and a few tips to keep in mind.

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You know how it works.

Casually watching a review on Unbox Therapy about this mug that apparently is unspillable. I’m having a laugh but by the end of the video I’m also intrigued what people ask for it.

There it is on Amazon. On sale at $14.99 from $24.99. For a limited time only. Only 3 left in stock for the stainless steel version. I love stainless steel. It’s a bargain and it will soon be gone. I’ll be left to drink coffee from my spillable mug. It would be a shame to pass this. F**k it. 💸

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Yes, it’s unspillable. Most of the times.

It makes things desirable

Scarcity is the psychological bias that makes us place a higher value on things that are scarce than those in abundance. Basically, we tend to like things that are harder to obtain. …


An essential guide for efficient UX and product designers on why, when and how to create and manage a Terms and Statements Inventory document.

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A sketch representing the connection between terms and statements

Imagine a meeting in which several members of the product team try to agree on the features of a new platform. There are two UX designers, one visual designer, two front-end developers, a back-end developer and a project manager. Put together, that’s probably more than 60 years of experience in developing digital products.

We get to a point in which I start describing the design of a website builder, using a bunch of terms like templates, themes, layouts, presets and widgets. …


Why experiences require speed of use alongside ease of use.

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This article was originally published on UXPin.

Today’s product experiences are becoming blazing fast. We expect speed. We demand no more than a few minutes for Uber car arrivals, same-day deliveries from Amazon, instant upload time of huge images on Facebook and not a single millisecond of buffering when watching a Youtube video.

Our experiences require speed of use.

Speed of use is a usability trait describing the minimal timeframe in which users accomplish a given task. This includes the actions that lead to the task but also the time it takes users to recover from errors.

However, it should not be confused with ease of use, which refers to how easy and intuitive an interface/flow/action is without external support. Both are important and should be treated harmoniously by overlapping their key components. …


An overview on the implications of integrating the Endowed Progress Effect into the task design of any UX process.

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What is the Endowed Progress effect?

It was described in 2006, in a research paper called “The Endowed Progress Effect: How Artificial Advancement Increases Effort”, composed of a few experiments.

The authors, American professors Joseph C. Nunes and Xavier Dreze, explained the endowed progress effect as: “a phenomenon whereby people provided with artificial advancement toward a goal exhibit greater persistence toward reaching the goal.”

In other words, users are more likely to complete a task if they are provided with an artificial progress towards the task.

The corollary is that people are more likely to abandon efforts if they feel they are making little or no progress towards the task. …


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An overview on how to apply the mechanism of priming to enhance the user experience of your designs.

What is priming?

Priming is a nonconscious form of human memory concerned with perceptual identification of words and objects. It refers to activating particular representations or associations in memory just before carrying out an action or task. For example, a person who sees the word “yellow” will be slightly faster to recognize the word “banana.” This happens because yellow and banana are closely associated in memory. (Psychology Today)

Where does it come from?

American psychologists David Meyer and Roger Schvaneveldt led the first experiments in the early 1970s, showing that people are faster in recognizing a string of letters as a word if they are previously exposed (or primed) to a semantically similar word (the prime). …


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I was arguing earlier that, because there are too many ways to add a reminder using Google products, Google actually needs to concentrate their efforts and create a dedicated app for them.

One of these ways is Google Calendar. Powerful, complex and one of Google’s core apps. At the time of writing, the web version is still lingering in the pre Material Design era, so it’s bad. Best for everybody if we don’t talk about it. The mobile app, though, is worthy of Google’s level of quality. Beautiful, intuitive and almost simple.

This almost simple, however, is basically the difference between using it and not using it. …


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Once Material Design came into existence, Google had to redesign all its products so that they fit the new clothes. Basically, they had to dump the no name sleeveless shirt look of the old apps and go for the more polished Levi’s slim fit shirt feel that came with the new guidelines. Which is lovely because the new apps are beautiful, are a lot easier to use overall and focus on a single main function. Except reminders.

Adding a reminder, using Google, is just not doable. That’s because there are too many ways to do that and all of them are flawed by really annoying tiny details.

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