We all started on our paths to becoming product designers by wanting to create platforms people wanted to use. None of us dreamt of one day designing platforms that tricked users into using them, did we?

Image for post
Image for post

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the rise in technology since the internet has been matched by the rise in people suffering from anxiety. We’re chasing numbers, likes, affirmation — and we designers are exploiting that. But why? Maybe because in the real world of business, where everyone has to answer to someone, we designers are chasing numbers too (active users, conversions), likes (reviews), and affirmation (career progression, pay rises?).

“In order to get the next round of funding, in order to get your stock price up, the amount of time that people spend on your app has to go up. So, when you put that much pressure on that one number, you’re going to start trying to invent new ways of getting people to stay hooked.” …


I was lucky enough to meet some of the Product Development team at Facebook London, and have a tour of their brand new campus near Tottenham Court Road. They are one of the most innovative Product Development teams in the world, so it was fascinating to see how they work.

Image for post
Image for post
Facebook, London

The Office

The new Facebook London office is incredible, there is all you could ever want and so much more - from an arts and crafts workshop to an ice cream bar and games room.

Each floor and space has its own personality and artwork - designed by local artists and even Facebook employees (hence the arts and crafts room). The whole office has a hipster look to it, with open ceilings and exposed wires and pipework, this is to remind employees that “The journey is only 1% finished”, as Mark Zuckerburg says.

You can find their values on every floor: Focus on Impact, Be Open, Move Fast, Build Social Value. …


Regardless of how good the underlying product is, it’s the design that the user interacts with. The design can either enable the user get the most out of the product, or if designed badly it can even become a barrier to using it properly. Whilst every product wants to stand out in the marketplace, it’s sometimes this overwhelming desire to be unique that can actually be its downfall.

Image for post
Image for post

Material Design is a visual language developed by Google, which was introduced a few years ago. It defines the way in which apps should look and behave. Google developed Material Design to unify the user experience across all Google platforms, from operating systems and apps, to the new watches and glasses. This improved overall experience makes user interaction easier, simpler and more intuitive. It also helps the user understand the cloud concept in which their data seamlessly flows and synchronises between their devices.

Image for post
Image for post

Material is a metaphor for the way the visual language uses space, light and motion to convey how objects move, interact and exist with each other. Whilst embracing the flat design trend to a certain extent, Material Design also imagines everything as a layer (or a piece of paper). Surfaces and edges of the material provide visual cues to reality. This has helped the user make the transition from pen and paper to device - perhaps in the future this will no longer be necessary and Material Design will evolve to reflect this. …

About

Simon Mauro Guido

I am Simon Mauro Guido, a Product Designer (UI/UX) and Visual Brand Designer based in London. https://smg.design

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store