Many social media platforms spent countless dollars trying to make their services more “sticky” for people like us.
To produce nervous energy in their visitors which releases only once that visitor returns.
They’re effective at doing what they set out to achieve… but let’s not pretend it’s “Good design”.
Good design helps people to…
…Understand things: Nothing is really being understood on those social platforms. Instead, people are just left wondering where the last 20 minutes of their lives went.
…Complete tasks: There are tasks that get completed, but these interfaces were designed to create tasks for visitors faster than visitors can complete them.
…Solve problems: The tools are designed to prevent people from solving problems. Otherwise they’d optimize their designs for connecting with the right people and fostering relationships, instead of pandering for Likes and rewarding consumption. You’re not supposed to leave, remember? Because ads.
Some honest questions to ask ourselves about our work:
- Was our work designed to help people understand, or stay stuck?
- Was our work designed to help people get things done, or add to their load?
- Was our work designed to help people solve problems or keep them hooked?
Do we like the answers we end up with?