Learn a lot about a little

“Use research to learn a lot about a little”

Dr. David Travis, User Focus

Recently I attended NUX3, where Dr. David Travis did a brilliant talk on the seven deadly sins of user research.  One thing that really stood out for me was that user research should be used to learn a lot about little.  In David’s words; The more you cram into a dishwasher the less that comes out clean.

David suggest writing your questions on post it notes, grouping these into themes using an affinity diagram and then prioritising your most important questions.

It’s all about build > measure > learn > repeat.

The power of visual imagery & language

At Code we use PET (persuasion, emotion & trust) in most of the projects we carry out.  Oglivy’s new campaign for Expedia makes great use of a few techniques using those all to familiar three letter airport tags.

Visual imagery

The design makes good use of instantly recognisable visuals to create an emotional response and speed up response time.


The advert uses images and words that users associate with a specific concept, travel.

Story telling

The adverts tell a story that includes the users. They use words that suggest a number of different narratives that we are all familiar with whether this is humorous situation, asking our parents for money or missing a loved one.


The advert places a small nudge at the end of the page stating “stop wishing, start searching”. This is a nice reminder that the user should search for a holiday on Expedia.

Oglivy Expedia advertising campaign

Oglivy: Expedia advertising campaign


Written while listening to

Jon Hopkins ‘Light Through The Veins’

Interesting things from the web

47 Mind-Blowing Psychological Facts You Should Know About Yourself

First in the series of 100 things you should know if you are going to design an effective and persuasive website, web application or software application

Ten laws to design by

A list of ten clear and effective design laws designers can use as proven formulas for better design. Very useful and definitely one to add to your favourites.

Dieter Rams: ten principles for good design

Is my design good design? Dieter Rams asked the very same question. Good design can not be measured in a finite way but here are ten principles for what Rams considered to be good design. It’s a pretty good list!

What passbook is and isn’t
A good explanation of what Apples passbook is. An interesting development when it comes to designing websites and servies for companies who use tickets.

Interesting things from the web

Here are some of the things I have been reading around the web this week, you might find them interesting…

UX designer launches Dark Patterns Awards
You might not have heard the term ‘Dark Patterns’, but you’ve probably seen them in action: they’re the manipulative interfaces that trick users into doing things.

Nudge nudge, think think
Research shows it is possible to steer people towards better decisions by presenting choices in different ways

Jakob Nielsen: Mobile Site vs. Full Site
Jakob Nielsen argues that good mobile user experience requires a different design than what’s needed to satisfy desktop users. Two designs, two sites, and cross-linking to make it all work.