The art of persuasion and designing for good at UX Bournemouth 5
by Laura Pinkstone, UX Consultant

The art of persuasion and designing for good at UX Bournemouth 5

It was great to see so many people from our UX community come together at another sell-out UX Bournemouth event and clearly, word is spreading far and wide as we even had one attendee from France.

This month’s event was slightly different due to a late speaker cancellation. Bride Trozelli was unfortunately unable to join us. The good news is that she’ll be speaking at a future event, as will Samantha Davies who also had to postpone her talk.

So, instead of the usual three speakers we had two – Paul Boag and Jonny Rae-Evans, who were both inspirational and spoke passionately on different aspects of UX. Luckily they were happy to talk a little longer than 25 minutes, giving us a greater insight into their chosen topics.


Converting Visitors Through Persuasive Design – Paul Boag

Paul got things started with his presentation about converting visitors through ethical persuasive design. He covered page design, CTA design and writing copy, all with the aim of increasing conversions without dabbling in dark patterns.

We learned that humans aren’t logical and that we have four brains. As UXers and designers, we need to be particularly mindful of the lizard brain, also known as our survival mode. He also gave us five handy tools of persuasion that can be applied to any website design project.

A key takeaway from Paul’s talk was that if you wouldn’t be comfortable explaining to someone how you persuaded them to take a particular action, you’ve probably crossed an ethical line.

Designing for good, and the subtle art of not killing anyone – Jonny Rae-Evans

Jonny took to the stage next and we learned why he has the best mum in the world (Hi Doris), before he delved into his presentation entitled: Designing for good, and the subtle art of not killing anyone.

He gave us a fascinating look into designing for vulnerable groups by talking us through some of the challenging projects he’s worked on, including designing an app for sex workers to help them stay safe and an app to support abstinence-based recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.

We learned that we should all be asking ‘Why is this a good idea?’ at every stage of a project, as well as the importance of exploring wider issues beyond our product bubble and why we should all introduce red team exercises to our process.Jonny also pointed out that while we might be experts in UX we’re not experts in everything. This is why we should always collaborate with people from charities and other organisations who can fill the gaps in our knowledge and make sure we’re asking the right questions in a sensitive way.

He closed his presentation by urging all of us to ask the following question when we work on any design project: How might we do harm if we get this wrong, and what can we do to prevent that?

Our next event

Don’t forget to see what the UX community thought of our latest event by taking a look at Twitter (#uxbournemouth).

Our next UX Bournemouth will be on 17 July – get your tickets early to ensure you don’t miss out. We’d also love to hear from you if you’d like to speak at one of our UX Bournemouth events – we’re hoping to trial some lightning talks at the next event, so get in touch if you fancy trying your hand at one of these fast-paced presentations.

There are also plans for a full day conference on 16 October, so let us know if you’d like more information about this and to be kept up to date with details of our future events.


UX Consultant Emma Peters

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