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…


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.

1 Like

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.

1 Like

:warning: Relevant video alert :warning:

Doughnut Economics is a superb read, Kate Raworth explains such great ideas in simple terms and therefore it doesn’t surprise me that she values visuals.

This thread makes me remember the “Wealth, Shown to Scale” representation of Jeff Bezos’s wealth in tangible terms (a real sickener, I know). I’m currently attempting to draw out of my workshop participants at my main community tech job some articulation of what it is they dislike about a mailing service that brings things to your door within hours of you ordering them, and while they generally realise it isn’t the service itself, they focus a lot on re-active things like taxation rather than the fact that profits are unpaid wages and the Amazon workers themselves are the wealth creators and even at startup Bezos had about $300,000 to play around with, iirc. “You don’t make a billion, you take a billion.” So my next step this month is to utilise one of my favourite tools - irony - to show them why Jeff is the real Santa Claus, seeing as he clearly makes trips to the homes of millions of people himself, in order to earn his money…right?

hahahaha this is what @Gaffen was referring to with the LedByDonkeys thing I put up top. Truly brilliant that for the illustration, as well as for reinforcing to me that the LBD crowd are just people with no new ideas :laughing:

Basically there if it’s a ref. to AOC.

Hahahahaha, I think that this is one of those really difficult sells, especially given the quantity of brainwashing which happens to get people to justify things that are deeply wrong, as Foucault said:

Every educational system is a political means of maintaining or of modifying the appropriation of discourse, with the knowledge and the powers it carries with it

Clever kids get to go to good schools and get good jobs, meritocracy as gospel from the minute you engage with pedagogy; so when you see someone with lots of money, you mentally backwards-engineer this system, as it is the only one you know. Even if he doesn’t personally deliver the items, there must be some justification for his position.


We can’t just live in an unjust society, right?



1 Like

Ooh! And since updated that post to say it already exists!


This is really cool!

1 Like

This is really not cool: