Design with Intent Toolkit

Dan Lockton, David Harrison, and Neville A. Stanton came up with this spiffy idea: The Design with Intent Toolkit v.0.9, a set of design principles with the aim of influencing user behavior.

The trio cover a wide range of design principles including how to encourage users to do something; guide them as to how to do it properly; and how to reduce errors by limiting choices and so on. There are even ways to subtly or not-so_subtly discourage users from doing what you don't want them to do.

You may think as some of these principles as obvious and common-sensical, but the hallmark of a great product is exactly that it can be used by people armed only with common sense.

Take, for instance, the way to influence user's behavior through the use of segmentation, spacing, and orientation:


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The thing is the material keeps talking about design, yet the material itself is so poorly designed.

Look at the way the text in the illustration above goes edge to edge with no margins at all. That is a CLASSIC example of 'design with intent' when the intent is to discourage the reading of some obligatory text - like the cancer warnings in a cigarette ad.
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This is great information and I'm very excited to see it in such a structured form. There is an enormous amount of food for thought available here for the amateur designer. I will be revisiting this regularly while scripting macros for a group of the-old-way-is-good-enough-for-me coworkers (the amount of resources and time wasted by their current methods are staggering). I feel fortunate to have this as a casual reference to spark new thoughts - my design partner and I often discuss influencing user behavior for their own benefit. We know how we'd like them to do things, but finding the right balance between gentle persuasion and a grating, controlled interface can be a challenge in some situations.

Are the naysayers here designers themselves that feel threatened by this simplified information or simply people that don’t design at all and think that producing a flawless final product on the first go is as easy as their morning deuce?
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Okay, so you didn't draw straws. Maybe you flipped a coin , instead.

Don't feel the need to defend yourself, Dan. It's the internet.

I'm just surprised you're getting your doctorate making a list of other people's design ideas.
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For all Dan says, my experience of many everyday objects is that they've been too firmly funneled into making me use them the way the designer intended and not open-ended enough.
This is most obvious, of course, in toys; even Lego are moving away from generalised stuff that allows you to use your mind towards specialised kits that show you what to make and how to make it.

I'm always saddened by Lego kits on eBay which have been assembled and then taken apart and kept in the original box with the original instructions. What a narrow existence.
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