Defining "slanty design"

Russell Beale use the term "slanty design" in a short article he wrote for Communications of the ACM recently.

"Slanty design is the term I've given to design that purposely reduces aspects of functionality or usability (...) Slanty design incorporates the broader message, making it difficult for users to do unwanted things, as well as easy to do wanted things. Designers need to design for user non-goals—the things users do not want to do or should not be able to do even if they want to. If usability is about making it easy for users to do what they must do, then we need to have anti-usability as well, making it difficult for them to do the things we may not want them to do. So slanty design reflects two subtly different characteristics: that we need to design for broader goals than individual users may identify, and that we need to incorporate anti-usability, as well as usability, into our systems. (...) Slanty designs result from five key design steps: - Identify user goals; - Identify user non-goals—the things users don't want to be able to do easily (such as deleting all their files); - Identify wider goals being pursued by other stakeholders, including where they conflict with individual goals; - Follow a user-centered design process to create a system with high usability for user goals and high anti-usability for user non-goals; and - Resolve the conflicts between wider issues and individual goals, and where the wider issues win out ensure that the design meets these needs. "

Why do I blog this? I find interesting this notion of "anti-usability" though cueing and preventing people form doing certain interactions.

Beale, R. (2007). Viewpoint: Slanty design, Communications of the ACM, 50 (1), pp. 21-24.