Product Design Strategy

On “The Wisdom of Community”

Powazek, D. (2010). “The Wisdom of Community.” A List Apart. Retrieved on 23 June 2010: http://www.alistapart.com/articles/the-wisdom-of-community/ In The Wisdom of Community Derek Powazek argues for the online extension of James Surowiecki’s Wisdom of Crowds theory. By referring to Surowiecki, Powazek points, that “crowds, presented with the right challenge and the right interface, can be wise”. This means, that a group of people – by balancing each-other – answers any well proposed question much better, than a single person, even a professional. Powazek points, that some online services are using similar methods to WOC to rank information according to their relevance and quality. Most importantly the user’s opinions are influencing the results of the Web search engines. According to Powazek to use the WOC concept in decision making, question answering or information ranking, certain conditions are required. The problems needs to “be broken down to its simplest components”. The number of the participants and the quality of the result are proportional. The motivation of the participants is a key factor, they need to work for their own interest. Showing the previous results is problematic, because “[t]he highly rated items get even more highly rated,m the low rated items fall off the…

On “The Children of Cyberspace: Old Fogies by Their 20s” by Stone

Stone, B. (2010). “The Children of Cyberspace: Old Fogies by Their 20s.” The New York Times. Retrieved 30. June, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/weekinreview/10stone.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1 Summary: Stone points out the significant generational difference gaps due to the rapid rate at which technology is developing. Kids born into the world today are growing up in a time when high-tech devices like the Kindle, iPads, iPhones, and Skype are part of daily life. With such technology as a normal part of these kid’s lives, they’re going to participate in and view the world in a much different way than individuals born fifty, twenty, or even ten years ago. Today’s young kids are going to have distinctive expectations of the world. Researchers are looking into the result of this accelerated technological change, and many theories have been posited. For example, growing up with the iPhone and iPad these kids will probably expect all computers to have touch screens. Dr. Larry Rosen’s ideas about the “i-generation” are referenced in the article, stating that these kids who were born in 90’s and this decade communicate through texting and instant messaging and have a higher multi-tasking capacity – performing seven tasks at a time during their down-time rather than the…

On “Singing ‘Rewires’ Damaged Brain”

Gill, V. (2010). “Singing ‘Rewires’ Damaged Brain.” BBC World News. Visited on 24 June 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8526699.stm Summary: This article discusses how singing can teach stroke patients to recover their speech abilities. Singing uses a different part of the brain than the areas that involve speech. The idea is that if the “speech center” of the brain is damaged patients can use their “singing center.” Already established as a medical technique, “melodic intonation therapy” was further studied by the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School with the findings presented to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Using medical technology to scan the brain doctors were able to deduce that most speech took place on the left side of the brain, but melody and singing took place on the right side. This study is one of many larger studies examining the general effects of music and the brain. Dr Nina Kraus, a neuroscientist from Northwestern University, has concluded that musical training is an important part of children’s education. This article is important because many people have experienced or know someone who has experienced a stroke. Reading this article may prompt further investigation for those affected to seek…

Men are bigger liars than women, says poll

BBC News Staff, (2008). “Men are bigger liars than women, says poll.” BBC News Channel, Visited June 23 2001. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8689010.stm Summary: The article discusses a survey that was conducted in Britain, pertaining to lies told by men and women. The survey, which was conducted by The Science Museum using 3000 participants, suggests that in general, men tell more lies than women and feel less guilty about it. While the average British man is likely to tell three lies each day, the average British women is likely to tell only two. As a group, it is ‘mothers’ who are most likely to be lied to. The top lie told by men is ‘I didn’t have that much to drink’, while the top lie told by women is ‘nothing’s wrong, I’m fine’ – which happened to be the second most popular lie among men. So while men tend to lie about drinking habits, it is both genders who seek to hide their true feelings. Both sexes shared a common tenth most popular lie, being, ‘it’s what I’ve always wanted.’ Certainly, this fib is relevant when we consider who gifts are received by each sex. Women generally feel more guilty about lying, with…

A Curiously French Complaint

Kirby, E. (2008). “ A Curiously French Complaint,” BBC News.  Retrieved on 2008/12/13. http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/7779126.stm Summary: This article focuses on the cultural differences between the French and British populations in regards to their medical care. Each culture has their own script of understanding, which people rely to set their expectations during a medical crisis. The author Emma experienced a cultural ‘shock’ during her first encounter with a French doctor due to her vastly different set of expectations. She visits a doctor in France due to the severity of a sore throat, where she is “diagnosed with a severe lung infection, mild asthma and had in my hand a prescription for six different types of medicine, an appointment at the local hospital’s radiology department and an emergency referral to a specialist in pulmonary disease (article).” Upon her return to Britain a few days later, she visits her family physician, who within a few minutes diagnoses her with only a ‘common cold.’ Her article then explains how the French expect a much more sever diagnosis to support their physical suffering. France is also the leading country of consumers who take prescription medications. While in England, there’s a more ‘keep a stiff upper lip’…

On “‘Ringtone Therapy’ Sweeping Mobile Phone-Mad Japan” by Buerk

Buerk, R. (2010). “Ringtone Therapy Sweeping Mobile Phone-Mad Japan.” Retrieved 23. August, 2010: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/8591845.stmhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/8591845.stm Summary: Buerk lets the world in on a new craze sweeping across Japan—a country known for being on the frontier of technological innovation. What’s the craze? Ring-tone therapy! The Japan Ring Tone Laboratory run by Matsumi Suzuki is producing ring-tones which they claim have therapeutic uses. One such tone touts the ability to dislodge pollen from a user’s nose by holding the handset to the nose while the ring-tone plays, another can help one lose weight, and another helps insomniacs fall asleep. Index, Japan’s mobile phone content provider acknowledges there is no proof that these therapeutic ring-tones actually work, but they note that people must believe in their effectiveness due to the large amount of downloads. The therapeutic ring-tone works by playing a tone emitted from the handset of the cell-phone. Depending on the ring-tone the therapeutic effect is different. If one has allergy problems, they can download and play a ring tone, place it up to their nose and it will in principle dislodge the pollen from the nose, reducing allergy symptoms. If one is having sleeping problems, another ring-tone once downloaded onto the cell…

On “The Sweet Smell of Morality”

Humphries, C. (2010). “The Sweet Smell of Morality.” Boston Globe Online, Boston.com. Retrieved on 23 June 2010: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/02/14/the_sweet_smell_of_morality/ Summary: Scientist and Marketers are paying closer attention to the sense of smell.  It appears that while once believed subpar to other human senses, the power of smell is being reevaluated.  Some studies suggest smell has the power to influence social and moral behavior.  Recent findings have found that clean smells perpetuate favorable behavior in instances where someone is in need of help or assistance. This suggests that smells, known for their influence on emotion and memory, might also have an effect on thought.  Additional studies have shown that consumers shopping habits, such as where to shop and how much to buy, are influenced by smell, having more to do with choice than mood.  Using smell as a lure might sound manipulative, yet some researchers claim we are aware of scents and are not deceived by them. Marketers are currently looking into ways to incorporate smells into brand recognition. It’s possible for humans to undergo training to perfect their sense of smell.  As more knowledge comes about regarding smell, and the complexities of this sense are realized, consumers can expect to be…