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First identified by Timur Kuran and Cass Sunstein the availability cascade (also known as the truth effect) is the idea that as a piece of information is shared more in the public the more likely that message is to be perceived to be plausible, a self-reinforcing cycle.

A recent example is that in the UK a well-known company, Woolworths, that went into administration in 2008 posted a tweet on Twitter saying that they are coming back to the UK. This sparked a lot of hype, quickly being shared on social media and shortly after on news websites. All of this…

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The Wizard of Oz testing method is a way fool the users into believing their using the real experience in order to get accurate feedback on your service or product.

The OZ method has gained more attraction in usability testing and prototyping in recent years. The major benefit of this testing is that instead of the service being fully built and functional it is actually being operated by a human to generate the responses requested by the user so it saves you time and resource to get useful feedback and insight.

Why is it called the Wizard of Oz?

It comes from the scene in the Wizard of…

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When we are in groups it can feel easier to follow the group and the collective decisions that the group make.

The idea of groupthink goes one step further to suggest that regardless of how irrational the decision is we would rather there be conformity in the group so if that decision is something we wouldn’t normally go with we may comprise that so peace remains in the group.

In groups we could be sacrificing individual creativity, thinking and uniqueness to avoid causing conflict and the preference to fit in. …

Why IA is more important than ever to create products and services that our users will use

An important part of user experience (UX) design is information architecture (IA). IA is the process of deciding how to arrange the parts of something into something that is understandable and meaningful. A good starting place for this article is seeing what the non profit organisation, The Information Architecture Institute, define what IA is:

Information architecture is about helping people understand their surroundings and find what they’re looking for, in the real world as well as online.

In short IA is the process of turning something from confusion into clarity through problem solving and organisation. IA can be often overlooked…

If you had to rate yourself 1 to 10 most people on average would rate themselves fairly high on the scale, some even as high 10. Although they may be justified in coming to that conclusion, this thought process of rating yourself highly can have negative consequences.

The Dunning-Kruger effect looks at our bias to rate ourselves higher and have a mindset that we can do something even though we may be out of our depth. …

My two pence on what it takes to be a good leader

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Recently I started thinking about the most effective way to manage a team, especially in my industry of digital technology, as well as what it takes to be a strong leader.

This article is a mixture of my own experience and inspiration from a recent interview I watched between 2 managers who oversee the best sports teams in the world.

If you’ve got any tips or experience you want to share, leave a comment below and I’ll add it to the article for other people to pick up!

The single most important ingredient in managing a team

In short, it comes down to empathy — empathising with the people…

Expert guide on designing better buttons to improve the UX

A macbook pro coding in CSS
A macbook pro coding in CSS
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Buttons are arguably one of the most important elements in the user interface. If designed poorly, they can have an impact on the user flow which — from a business point of view — can impact conversion rates.

The main purpose of buttons is that they are designed to grab and direct the users attention to an end goal. Buttons can be used in many contexts from saving a document, making a purchase or submitting a form.

Here we’ll look at everything that goes into a button and by the end you should have the knowledge to design better buttons…

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If the result of two options were the same but you know the probability of one and with the other option it’s unknown the probability of success then we prefer to go with the option of known probability. The ambiguity effect closely ties into the loss aversion bias in which our natural bias is avoid risk and stick with safer options.

“Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t”

The ambiguity effect bias comes from our association of missing information with negative information. If we are not told something it’s usually because it’s negative or it doesn’t benefit…

Amazon Alexa and Google Home products

Voice assistants like the Amazon Alexa and Google Home have surged in popularity over the last couple of years. If you shop on Amazon it’s almost impossible to avoid the offers they are applying on their devices. If you were ever wondering how popular voice enabled technology is then research has found that:

More Than 2/3 Of Adults Have Access To A Voice Assistant, So A Significant Majority Of People Have A Route Into Voice.

However, the ecosystem of voice apps on the marketplace is fairly underdeveloped compared to the Apple App Store or the Android App Store. For the…

Starting guide for improving and learning about how good content can make a better user experience

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UX writing fills the areas in your UI that assists your users use a product or helps them interact with it to fulfil their goals and objectives. UX writing has become a popular topic among designers recently as we are becoming more aware of its importance in creating better products.

UX writing can be used in a range of UI elements from the microcopy of your buttons, menu labels, input and error labels to the heavier text blocks like your terms and conditions pages, cookie messages and instruction areas.

In this post we’ll look at UX writing and how you…

Michael Gearon

Senior Interaction Designer at Companies House, Government. Living in Cardiff, South Wales, interested in human psychology and behaviours.

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