tl;dr: check out the prototype Concept Catalog, designed to help designers develop applications and share knowledge. Leave feedback / thoughts in this thread!
Links: Full Concept Catalog, Shopping Cart Concept, Catalog Concept
I am a researcher working with Daniel Jackson on a project looking at how Concepts can concretely help designers make applications that provide better experiences to users. In particular, we began this research exploring how concepts can help prevent dark patterns. Dark patterns are typically thought of as deceptive UI tricks that harm users, but we propose that the deeper concepts themselves of an application determine the experience of users; a dark pattern occurs when an application breaks a concept to the detriment of the user and the benefit to the company
As part of our research, we are creating a prototype Concept Catalog. The goal of the catalog is to provide product designers (developers, PMs, UI designers, etc) and researchers a place to record insights about designing different concepts. Insights include information like:
- What is the minimal concept that should always be followed? (Since breaking from established concept norms can negatively impact users.)
- What are the possible extensions of the concept that have been found to be effective?
- What are legal requirements related to the concept?
- How should the concept be mapped to the user interface?
The goal is for the insights stored in the catalog to help designers who are trying to build a minimal product, to avoid dark behavior in their application, to implement a new extension, and more, along with to encourage designers to consider their application in a concept framework. The catalog could help with:
- deciding what features to include (ex: What is commonly included? What creates the optimal user experience? What is potentially risky to include?)
- the implementation of a given feature (What concepts are relevant? What nuances have people come across before in implementation? How are those nuances typically handled?)
- generally helping share expert knowledge that typically designers have to rediscover for themselves
We are using e-commerce concepts as a starting point for the catalog, so are reaching out to eCommerce experts to get their feedback on the catalog, in particular on two concepts we’ve worked on fleshing out: the Shopping Cart and Catalog. We would love to hear any thoughts, please reply in this thread! Some questions that we’d love to hear your thoughts on include:
- Could you imagine yourself using a concept catalog? What might you use it for / how might you use it?
- What sections are most helpful in the catalog and what information do you wish it included?
- Within a given extension, what types of information are most helpful or you wish were included?
- Do you know any extensions of the concepts that we are missing?