Design for the mind

1. Beauty matters

We have an instinctive and powerful reaction to beauty: in art, architecture and technology. Design, craft and experience are often the primary differentiators for users and the role of ‘design’ in technology is so broad that it encompasses everything from business thinking to dynamic user experiences.

2. Emotions do the talking

We’re having to deal with more methods of communication than ever before, and these new methods are not a linear evolution from old ones. Over 60 billion WhatsApp/Facebook messages are sent every day, more than three times the number of SMSs sent globally — and the nature of these messages are different. Emoji, Gifs and viral content reveal our inner selves in new and fascinating ways and reveal the truths of an internal battle between our idealised and actual selves.

3. Beat your brain bugs

If we’re going to Design for the Mind, we probably need to understand our minds a little better, because they’re far from perfect. From unconscious bias jeopardising our credibility at every step, to the power of overcoming category ‘brain-bugs’ — Donald Trump shows what is possible when you simply buck the trend of politicians speaking in bullshit.

4. Use the force

More than ever before, technology is starting to make us all feel like Jedis (in their Cognitive Lab, IBM even demonstrated some tech that allowed people tocontrol a model BB8 droid with their minds). This is forcing us to consider how we interact with technology — implicit data transfer, AI assistants and increasingly contextual experiences are becoming more important in creating magical moments between technology and people.

5. Reduce the cognitive load

With all of this progress and the increasingly intrusive role of technology in our lives, we’re all at risk of reaching ‘attention capacity’, where our cognitive faculties start to breakdown. It’s as important as ever to take some time to look after our minds, and the rise of technology designed at helping us cope — from meditation apps to noise cancelling ear-buds — demonstrate that we’re beginning to find a way to navigate the relentless advancement of the near-future.