UX Designers make addictive apps/websites?


I’m looking to study and get into UX Design. However, I read in a website that you are required to make apps and websites addictive in this field.

Facebook and Instagram are prime examples where users end up spending long periods of time using these platforms daily, so I find it unethical to manipulate people’s minds and ensnare them and their time into using such platforms for hours, and leading them to lose sleep, etc. What are your thoughts/experiences on this?

I think it is in the nature of people to do what they enjoy. As far as the example of losing sleep, I have often found myself awake in the early morning hours because I was enjoying a book so much I forgot to go to sleep.

Addiction is a disease where people use a substance or behavior to self medicate and escape from pain. Are there people addicted to social media? Most certainly. But if it weren’t social media, I firmly believe they would eventually find something else to use or do to the same effect.

Video game programmers, authors, music composers, movie makers, social media providers, and more create products for people to use and enjoy. They are not creating heroine.

An audience or user is responsible for their own self care.


Do you mean addictive rather than effective?

Assuming yes, then the answer is no – that is not the job of a UX designer.

UX is the practice of creating ‘user experiences’. They might not even be digital experiences, but if they are, hooking users is very rarely the primary goal. Our job is to make the experience intuitive, inclusive and delightful.

Facebook and Instagram are very large, well established sites which do a great job of ‘hooking’ their users, but they also have large UX teams with very different goals.

Does that help?