A new article in The New York Times discusses How Uber Uses Psychological Tricks to Push Its Drivers’ Buttons. Uber lies in a little grey area of ethical and legal “torture” as the drivers are independent contractors and they lack most of the protections associated with employment.

The drivers are constantly told about the surge areas, given female assistance to assure high response (due to high male domination in the driver industry), loss aversion techniques, the ludic loop (a feeling of progress toward a goal that is always just beyond the player’s grasp) and a lot more. These psychological levers to increase driver supply are quite powerful.

This is the result of a the same ideology in the Post-new era when businesses had enormous power over workers and few checks on their ability to exploit it. The question here is about empathy and whether it is the right to use using big data and algorithms to manage workers of a company and industry. Here is Mike Monteiro writing about something similar in Ethics Can’t Be A Side Hustle.

Meanwhile, here is another reading list for you guys.

Graphic Design

  1. Everyone wants to be faster at something — and for good reason. In most contexts, “fast” is attractive, as in intelligence, efficiency, “go getters” and athletes. For sports brands, “fast” implies that you are strong, in shape and optimised, and the products you wear are lighter, stronger and more aerodynamic. But even outside of sports, “fast” is aspirational. David Schwarz says that as our attraction to designing “fast” extends from the physical products we use to the less tangible digital brand experiences we desire, the perception of high speed begins to sit at the centre of a brand’s core strategy in Designing The Feeling of Fast.
  2. It is natural for humans to assign metaphors based on what is most familiar and comfortable to our knowledge. Language is no different. With this understanding, Matt Yow asks us to realise the impact of anthropomorphism in typography and design, the impact on type design and typesetting, the impact on everything our brains create and our eyes meet in Eyes to C, Arms to E.
Picture Credit: Medium

UI Design

  1. Emptiness is an essential aspect of life. Imagine listening sound without spaces between the notes. You’d have a linear stream of noise. Same goes for photography, architecture, painting, sculpturing. And designers use it too. Wojciech Zieliński explores how space is a human need in How To Use Space In UI Design.
  2. Comparison tables support users when they need to make a decision that involves considering multiple attributes of a small number of offerings. Consistency in content, scanning, and a simple layout are some of the most important qualities of successful comparison tables. Kate Mater shares tips on how to design Comparison Tables for Products, Services, And Features.
  3. Designers who have worked on a project that requires some or any kind of data visualisation, know that it can be an extremely difficult (and rewarding) design challenge. Ryan Bales shares some of the design principles he has used to build aesthetically pleasing and functional charts that users love in Designing Charts — Principles Every Designer Should Know.
Picture Credit: Medium

UX Design

  1. Ali Rudshan Tariq takes a look into the past, whether 1430 or 1930, for clues as to where user experiences are heading in A Brief History of User Experience Design. Today, UX has grown into an important design discipline that continues to grow and evolve. And while it’s fairly new, its multidisciplinary history can be traced all the way back to the Renaissance — if not earlier.
  2. Researchers must justify the sample size of their studies. Clients, colleagues and investors want to know they can trust a study’s recommendations. They base a lot of trust on sample population and size. Victor Yocco also says how sample size won’t matter if you haven’t asked good questions and done thorough analysis and more in Filling Up Your Tank, Or How To Justify User Research Sample Size And Data.
  3. ‘UI Animation’ is typically thought of by designers as something that makes the user experience more delightful, but overall doesn’t add much value. Issara Willenskomer says that UI Animation is to the ’12 UX in Motion Principles’ as construction is to architecture in Creating Usability with Motion: The UX in Motion Manifesto.


  1. A group of researchers from Cornell University and Adobe have augmented style transfer, a process uses neural networks to apply the look and feel of one image to another (like Prisma)— while still looking like a photo (the results in Prisma look more like paintings). The results are impressive and can be found at Deep Neural Networks Can Now Transfer The Style Of One Photo Onto Another.
  2. Apple has acquired the powerful iOS automation app Workflow. Unlike many Apple acquisitions, this one was not just a deal for the Workflow team but for the app itself too, which signals that Apple sees value in the product. What the team has built is remarkably robust for any platform, but especially for a platform like iOS which isn’t exactly known for its openness. Read more at: Apple Acquires Workflow And The Future Looks Bright.
  3. Every once in a while you should step out of the day-to-day treadmill of product development, take a deep breath, and look at the bigger picture. The team at UX studio introduced the UX Strategy Canvas which will help you do just that.

Life & Beyond

  1. Jonas Downey raised a very important question last week. He questioned The Unnecessary Fragmentation Of Design Jobs that have been created by the community itself. To name a few, and mind it they are few — UI Designer, UX/UI, Graphic Designer with UX/UI Focus, Web Designer and so on. This is not only a problem for the applicant (as he/she can’t full the expectations of the role) but also for the hiring authorities (who can’t set the right expectations for these applicants). A designer should function holistically and bbecomfortable working organically across all of that, without needing to slice it up into separate little steps and responsibilities.
  2. We can all agree that cats spend the vast majority of their time thinking through complex problems in innovative ways. We have so much to learn from them. Thryn has extracted and analysed a few key methodologies after years of careful observation that cats use so we can leverage them for our own problem solving in Design Thinking Lessons From Our Cats.
Picture Credit: Medium

And with that, I will close for the week. Also Hey, if you like what you just read, please support me with a donation via Paypal.me or share this resource by hitting the green “Recommend” icon so that other people may also stumble upon this reading list.

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