Design and the sleight of hand

A 45 minute Experience Report by:

Kevin Cannon


About this Experience Report

Magicians have been around for hundreds of years. They use a variety of techniques to amaze, tease, mystify and entertain their audiences. It’s a fascinating field, which has mostly been developed through trial and error over centuries, and has not been investigated scientifically until very recently.

In this session, I will explore the fundamental psychological underpinnings of magic. I will look at 4 areas - misdirection, illusion, persuasion - and deception and explain what they are, why they work, and discuss how we already use these methods in design, both intentionally and unintentionally.

Through this investigation, we will gain a deeper understanding of people’s perceptions and develop rules to help us come up with some truly special designs.

About the Speaker

Kevin has over 15 years' experience bringing a whole range of projects to market. He’s worked on everything from medical devices to smart home products and in his spare time has even created a few interactive installations. He works with large brands to help them integrate design into their work.

Kevin is driven by his curiosity about human nature, technology and how they interact. Most recently he has been delving deep into the smart home and connected devices space and learning what it means to do interaction design for physical products, and how to do good design in parallel with manufacturing processes and deadlines.