Beyond a mere source of entertainment, the video-sharing social media app TikTok has become a hub for quick educational videos, as users turn its 60-second video format into an opportunity to share interesting and informative lessons. User experience (UX) designer Mary Formanek (@UXWithMary) has become a viral TikTok influencer in this regard, in particular for her series of TikTok explainer videos breaking down politicians’ campaign websites for laypersons who may not know a lot about design.
One recent series of Formanek’s videos that blew up featured her explaining the design principles behind Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign website. In these TikTok videos, Formanek describes how Trump’s campaign uses design principles in a shady way, to manipulate users into getting trapped on donation pages and accidentally donating more money than they might intend. As Formanek explains, this practice — of using design psychology to obfuscate and manipulate rather than illuminate — is