Online Tools - Light Patterns

I’d like to start this with a disclaimer that I have no real interest in the Led By Donkeys campaign group, and think that quite a lot of what they do/have done is a silly waste of money, this being said…

I ran into this tool as y’all might have also yesterday, it is a very simple (from a code perspective) way of conveying the idea of how much money is being frittered away by our incumbent government, and it got shared around a lot. On top of this it uses a lot of tools conventionally used for bad when it comes to marketing and communications, as well as some clever pedagogical methods in order to leave the reader/viewer with a solid, lasting message.

I keep coming back to this idea, which I’m currently mind-labelling as light patterns, a better counterpart to dark patterns that possibly there is a way by which we can leverage the skills we have collectively to build things like this (and a bit like ContraChrome) which will help us to educate people, but through short and engaging web experiences. At this current moment I have nothing concrete, though…

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I’m all over stuff like this. Ironically this really is a marketing and branding problem rather than a tech problem. By that I mean, we almost certainly have the technical skill required to deliver something like this. The issue is that we need a good story. The horizontal scrolling + ruled lines to indicate money at scale is pretty inspired (and copied from someone else haha).

These kind of things are really marketing exercises - I know that sounds icky but I don’t know a better way to do it. We’re selling an idea to people. We might not be charging, but we’re still trying to deliver it in an easily consumed format. If you want to feel less gross about it you could call it graphic design communication.

So yeah, come up with a concept for explaining, find a good application of the concept that is relatable and present it in a thematically appropriate and memorable format. It’s great! Just need a good example to get started with.

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Everything I do is marketing, sigh.

I’m currently reading Doughnut Economics and the author, Kate Raworth, talks constantly about the value of visual communication of ideas, which I would 100% file this under. We are visual creatures, and it doesn’t help that social media has rotted our gosh darn brains.

No comment whatsoever on efficacy of method when it comes to what it aims to do, but tools like this are also quite interesting. I would imagine also quite simple. Forewarn: no SSL, browser may be unhappy.

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