Are designers responsible for addictive apps?

Articles, ideas, and news about UX/UI design and related spaces.

Mar 15, 2024
Min Read

📰 3 Design Articles

Is It the Designer’s Responsibility if an App is Addictive? 

  • Likening online behavior such as endless scrolling and continuous auto-play to an “infinite bowl of soup”, author Liz Gorny examines the role of designers in addictive user patterns, illustrating the challenges that UX faces when the goal of a product is to promote ever-increasing engagement. 
  • Designs that spur users to consume more content than they may intend have been the subject of everything from complaints to lawsuits: against this backdrop, Gorny debates if designers should bear moral responsibility for user addiction, and suggests that they can play a role in questioning the ethical implications of their work. 
  • “Gamified UX, just like the carefully-designed lights and levers of slot machines, is a brilliant tool to encourage engagement. It will be impossible to disassemble such a long-running system of design from the inside entirely. But, we can take retroactive steps… the question that is harder to answer, is how to build towards critical mass.”

Trying Viral Client Acquisition Strategies

  • A recent viral trend has caught the attention of designers: sending your work, unsolicited, to the CEO of companies to see if you can spark interest, and in turn, land yourself a shiny new gig. 
  • Author Sharanya Dutta experiments with the methodology, showcasing the projects he created and the responses he received, as well as highlighting some of the unexpected benefits of making experimental work without a guaranteed reward. 
  • “I, as an outsider, have 0 clue about the business decisions behind the website’s current version. Maybe the site is purposefully made ugly, because ugly websites in certain cases do perform better… What if, they just don’t need a re-design at the moment? Lots of things to consider here. I went ahead anyway.”

Do Founders Ever Care About Design? 

  • Author Chris Kernaghan reflects on challenges he’s faced as a UX designer working with company founders who struggle to empathize with a user-based perspective, and provides insights into how designers can work to champion design-as-necessity in these environments. 
  • Kernaghan asserts that it is the job of designers to inspire founders to prioritize design, and provides guidelines, such as clear communication and open feedback channels, to help inspire a more collaborative mindset. 
  • “Let people know who you are, what you’re about and how you’re going to bring value to the company. Transparency is key. Invite people to design sessions, from the founder to the cleaner, everyone’s opinion is valuable. Make it fun, make it informed, and make it community-driven.”

💜 Portfolio Inspiration

Kyra Catabay, a UX Academy graduate, brings her passion for research to the forefront in her highly detailed case studies. Her interest in communication and collaboration is obvious, with her redesign for a fintech start-up centering cross-functional conversation amongst the org’s team. An avid outdoor enthusiast, she also has an app design for determining the difficulty of hikes!

This is a GIF of UX design portfolio.

Got a portfolio you love that you’d like to share with our audience? Email your suggestions to

💡 Interesting Stuff...

Good design is like a refrigerator—when it works, no one notices, but when it doesn’t, it sure stinks. - Irene Au (designer)

🧪 From the Lab

Advanced Courses Open for Enrollment 

Two courses for experienced designers are currently open for enrollment: 

Advanced Figma: In this 4-week course, you’ll master the strategies and workflows used by the best, most experienced product designers – bringing your efficiency with Figma to the next level. We’re currently offering a $100 discount on enrollments to our first cohort, launching April 15th.

Data-Driven Design: Increase your impact as a designer and gain confidence using product metrics in your design process in this 6-week course. Next cohort launches May 3rd.

Both courses feature a combination of self-paced lessons, hands-on projects, and weekly peer group sessions led by one of our expert mentors. 

Upcoming Community Events 

Our slate of free community events continues with several exciting offerings upcoming:

You can find the full event calendar on our registration page to see what’s coming up next.  Miss one our previous events? Browse our archives of recordings.

Start Your Journey to a Fulfilling Creative Career 

Enrollment for our April 8th cohort of UX Academy Foundations is now open. Learn foundational design skills, get hands-on experience working in tools like Figma, and learn how to integrate AI into your workflow. You’ll also receive 1:1 mentorship and a $500 tuition credit towards our career-switching bootcamp, UX Academy. 

Reserve your seat now and only pay when the cohort begins. 

Earn $ Telling People About Designlab 

Know a friend or colleague who would benefit from Designlab’s courses and programs? Have a social media channel or blog related to design? 

If you said ‘yes’ to either question, sharing Designlab with your network is now more rewarding than ever! Earn for each new student you send our way.

Launch a career in ux design with our top-rated program

Top Designers Use Data.

Gain confidence using product data to design better, justify design decisions, and win stakeholders. 6-week course for experienced UX designers.

Launch a career in ux design with our top-rated program

Top Designers Use Data.

Gain confidence using product data to design better, justify design decisions, and win stakeholders. 6-week course for experienced UX designers.