If advertising was a parent

Kids! Get inside! Enough of that fresh air and frolicking around playing some useless chase. Inside now! Don’t you know you haven’t done your PlayStation yet? Five hours every day. Why do I have to keep hammering on about it? I’ve been telling you this since you were toddlers: Endlessly play computer games. Endlessly buy… Read More »

Google: from ‘Don’t Be Evil’ to ‘Be Evil’

“Don’t be evil” has been the Google tagline, mission statement, guiding philosophy from practically day one of its existence. In 2018, it quietly dropped the “don’t” from the tagline. Google was entering a new phase of sucking up personal data and sucking up giganormous profits.   Do you remember back in those innocent, hippy, don’t… Read More »

Static or database? Our love of complexity

A database-driven website is a bit like having a seven-seater car. If there’s only two in your household do you really need it? Perhaps a simpler, more energy-efficient static website is better? I used to make these sorts of arguments a lot about 15 years ago, and then for whatever reason I stopped making them… Read More »

The Department of Useless Images

I’ve been asking people to send me examples of where digital government is working well. I’ve been getting lots of great examples but some maybe not so good. One suggestion was a link for a website in a language I don’t speak. When I clicked on the link I was confronted with one of those… Read More »

Are your Web metrics reliable?

Web analytics are highly susceptible to error, manipulation and misinterpretation. They should never be depended on as the sole source of insight. “Facebook might be hosting upwards of 8 billion views per day on its platform, but a wide majority of that viewership is happening in silence. As much as 85 percent of video views… Read More »

Governments’ key competitor is complexity

People have been trained by the likes of Amazon and Google to expect that things will be made fast and easy for them. However, often when they interact with government they find that things are slow and difficult. The thought that government is complex is corrosive to democracy. People wonder why their taxes are being… Read More »

Branding doesn’t have to be propaganda

The greatest brands tell the biggest lies. Although not all branding is bad, the art of modern branding is indeed very often the art of manipulation and propaganda. For many years, Coca Cola has been the world’s most valuable brand. Think about that for a moment. Here is a company that is more responsible than… Read More »

UX without the user

The number of UX professionals I meet who don’t regularly undertake user research is disturbing. In fact, in many organizations, digital teams rarely interact with customers. Failing to maintain closeness to the customer is the canary in the coal mine when it comes to digital design. The greater the distance from the customer, the more… Read More »

Major usability problems require less people to identify

The number of people you need to observe in order to identify the primary problems with your website or app depends on the quality of your website or app to a significant extent. If your app is of very low quality and an immature environment, then very few people are required—typically no more than eight—to… Read More »

The psychology of cheap

My old landline phone gave out (yes, I still have one), and when I lifted it off my desk, I had to remove two wire connections. As I did that, I had a strong impulse to push the old wires off the back of my desk and let them fall (my desk faces a wall).… Read More »