Conceptual Design

What does the product do?

25 Awesome Quotes, 11 Ways, 10 Hateful Things, 8 Steps, 7 Reflections, 5 Hard Facts, 3 Reasons Why, 2 Questions, and 1 Mistake

5 second test

The latest in the professional social media writing is the creation of lists. Sing it with me: 25 Awesome Quotes 11 Secrets & 11 Ways 10 Hateful Things 8 Steps 7 Reflections 5 Seconds Test & 5 Hard Facts & 5 Ways 3 Audiences & 3 Big Trends & 3 Reasons 2 Questions 1 Career Mistake and a Partridge in a pear treeeeee…. What’s going on? Well, the new p-prim in town seems to be: “LinkedIn users like things in neatly organized lists.” And perhaps it is true — LinkedIn might see blogs written in this format as a good marketing trick, getting lots of hits. The more LinkedIn selects such format to feature, the more articles are written in this format — it is a self-replicating problem. In my classes, we talk of surface reading — how in today’s fast-moving culture, people peck and sample content in small bits and pieces: “Just give me the talking points, please.” And we see the results in the news, in PowerPoint presentations, and on LinkedIn’s Influencer Posts. Let’s just hope that some people still take the time to wade through details and read for deeper meaning.

Google Apps New Pay Policy and Behavioral Economics

Google Apps Icons

Yesterday, Google flipped a switched on its Google Apps policy — starting with December 7th, 2012, Google Apps will no longer be free! The change is for Google Apps for Business and it effectively ends the ability to create free accounts for groups of 10 or fewer users (here’s Google’s announcement). Individuals could still have a personal account, but businesses will have to pay $50 per user, per year… That is NEW business customers will have to pay — if you had a business account prior to the announcement, you get to keep it on the same terms you’ve signed up for — free! But all new Google Apps business customers from this point forward will pay to play. There’s a lot of chatter about whether Google’s customers will pay or walk away, but I’m interested in the behavioral economics analysis of this change. Allow me describe a few experiments on anchoring — the psychological phenomena where individuals get attached to the first result they witness and base their subsequent decisions on that original priming. The experiments I’m going to describe come from two books: Dan Ariely’s “Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions”…

Same Desire, Cultural Shift in Solution

Give cigarettes for christmas

Over time, some desires have stayed constant: an aversion to pain, a wish for health, a longing to be loved, and a craving for wealth, power, and youth. But desires are susceptible to cultural shifts, and so they shift with the whim of fashion: the need to be thin, the hope to fit the norms of current beauty, the yearning for popularity, an aspiration for fame. Each generation comes up with solutions for their desired that are based in the cultural soup that nourished them. What is a cultural soup? Well, it’s a heady mixture of the following: anxiety — each generation has their own issues that they loose sleep over. In addition to the ones that their parents experienced, each generation can choose and pick and invent their own worries. affordances — affordances are available actions that are mired in context and situation. As context changes, affordances evolve. Each generation sees a unique subset of problem solutions. emotional design — each generation is stirred by issues and fashion that are uniquely their own. Emotional design is by definition tied to a particular group of people, be they joined in time, cause, or geography. Social value, user satisfaction, and emotional…

In Search of Design Excellence

Rutter, G. B. (2010). “In Search of Design Excellence.” http://www.appliancedesign.com. Visited on October 15th, 2012: http://www.appliancedesign.com/Articles/Feature_Article/BNP_GUID_9-5-2006_A_10000000000000931808 Design excellence can be defined as a combination of design excellence, or the fidelity of decisions decisions and the innovations. Often, people conflate innovation and  the execution of design. Even if a design is new and a breakthrough, the execution of the design can make or break the how excellent a design truly is. One area to consider for design execution is human centered design. Examples given include the design of a music application. While it might be possible to dpwnload music in a new manner, it does not mean ease of use has been considered. Similary, when considering design decisions for making a new chair, often times, ergonomics and engineering check boxes may be used to create new experiences. However, if human centered design tenants are not considered, the design may still ultimately fail. Ie, s the music app easy to use? Fun to use? Is the chair comfortable? Does it fit in the users environment? For new innovations if human centered designed is a component of the design a better product may emerge, and this is one sign of excellent design. p-prim…

Article: Sometimes more choices leave people worse off

Research published in Biology Letters shows that people confronted with too many choices have difficulty making a good decision. The study analyses over 3,700 human dating descisons across 84 speed-dating events. The study found that when the numnber of variable attributes increases (ie heigh, occupation, education background), people made fewer dating proposals. The effect was even stronger as the number of potential partners increased. Another study shows that when participants in a dating study are given more potential partners, their emotional satisfaction is not higher than when presented with fewer options. Other studies have shows that more options cripple a people to not make any decision at all. Consumer studies show that when given limited options, consumers make a purchasing decison, and are happier with the limited set of options. When given large numbers of options, humans and other animals tend to rely on heuristics that help guide decision making. These rules of thumb help to reduce and simplify the decision making proceess by ignoring some information. We tend to default to quick, easy, and recognizable options. We can decide the appeal of a face in 13 milliseconds. So with fewer options, people make quicker decisions. With more options, people…

RE: Tracing the Spark of Creative Problem-Solving

Article:  Carey, B. (2010). “Tracing the Spark of Creative Problem-Solving.” nytimes.com. Visited on October 29th, 2012: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/07/science/07brain.html Summary:  Puzzles come in a wide variety of formats. They are appealing to people both because of the dopamine rush of arriving at a solution, and also because they shift the brain into an open, playful state. Puzzles are solved in two main ways — either through insight thinking or analytical thinking.  Insight thinking is when an answer comes to a person suddenly, seemingly out of the blue. Analytical thinking involves employing a systematic approach of testing available possibilities. Both types of thinking are typically required to solve challenging problems. The differences between the two approaches have been debated by scientists, but current experiments and brain-imaging studies indicate that they are separate abilities requiring truly different brain states. Test subjects are more likely to solve puzzles using insight thinking when they display brain activity in the anterior cingulate cortex. This activity is associated with the widening of attention, making the brain more open to distraction and to detecting weaker connections. Positive mood appears to shift the brain towards the state required for insight thinking. In experiments where subjects are shown a humorous video…