As a designer, it's not my job to design the things people want. It's my job to design the things they need.
When you work in Government, you see a lot of legacy systems. These are ancient beasts, built off the back of corporate I.T contracts decades ago.
They're clunky, and we're unable to make changes. UX wasn't even a thing back then. The interfaces range from what looks like Teletext to an Excel spreadsheet. The font size is about 6px, because any screen resolution over 640px was unheard of when they were built.
There's a lot these systems have to answer for. But one of my biggest gripes is the culture of 'note-box enthusiasts' these systems have created.
I'm at that age now where all my friends are into having babies. Because of this, I ended up browsing kidly.co.uk. It's an eCommerce site aimed at gifts for 0-4-year-olds. They do a great job of selling themselves as a 'by people for people' kind of company. There are fluffy images of the team looking happy. The about us section is full of references to parenting so that people can relate.
I get this type of marketing. It's smart. It bypasses your brain's neocortex and buries itself deep into your emotional core. If you relate to these people, and they seem like you, you're more likely to buy from them. It's genius.
I don't have a problem with this type of marketing, until it begins to encroach on the user experience.
I've recently been ranting a lot about primary buttons. But people often don't understand what they are.
In my early days as a designer, I thought it just meant adding class="btn-primary" to my markup to make it pretty and blue, and this is a common mistake.
A lot of people make this mistake and litter the Internet with bad design which is confusing for the people that have to use it. Some of my early contributions are still out there causing a nuisance. Sorry.
Recently, I took a leaf out of Medium's book and decided to add the estimated reading time to my blog posts. This was so that people could decide whether they had enough time to commit to the post before reading it.
When I tweeted about it, I got a request to write an explanation of the code. So here it goes!