Idiomdrottning’s homepage

Deliberate Usability Obstacles

Re: njms - Ethical anti-design, or designing products that people can’t get addicted to.

I like the underlying idea so this is just a thought about the specific case of infinite scrolling.

With infinite scrolling, I can scroll through my stuff and be done with it. With pagination, I get a click/​reward/​click/​reward/​click/​reward–cycle that makes my brain quickly shut off into automation-mode. I sit there half-annoyed, half-conscious, fully addicted. I trigger sort of “completionism”, too, in that I can’t just scroll past something glancingly, I have to engage with every page. (For me, this mode happens on click-heavy sites like TV Tropes and Comic Book Legends Revealed much more often than on River of Posts style sites.)

So, I wouldn’t be too eager to implement these obstacles.

Maro usually explains the difference between product design and game design by saying something like (from memory) product design should make things as simple and effortless as possible, while game design has a challenge element to it. A game designer making a lamp would make it so that it’s kind of a puzzle to turn it on or off.

So these obstacles can be gamifying and help make them more addictive.

I want a simple life unburdened by tripwires everywhere. I wish there was a robust mailing-list frontend to Fediverse, so that Fediverse would become less of a place I would go to to explore and more of just part of my normal communication routine.