Fast food restaurants have been facing increased competition and slimmer profits, but McDonald’s continues to persevere. The company’s continued success can be partially attributed to its discrete application of numerous psychological concepts that increase sales and keep customers happy. Read Luke Battye’s in depth exploration of McDonald’s use of psychology concepts in this article.
Sticking to goals and forming new habits is not always easy, but there are ways to facilitate commitment. Robert Cialdini outlines six principles of influence in his book “Influence: Science and Practice”. One of those principles is the idea of behavioral consistency, which is the tendency of a person to act in a way that aligns with their past decisions and behaviors. This concept can be integrated in interfaces to increase engagement and loyalty to a company. To learn more about how to use behavioral consistency in your products read this article by Therese Fessenden of Nielsen Norman Group.
Imagine walking into a grocery store that is full of packaged foods with no nutrition or ingredient labels. You find a box of cereal with an attractive drawing on the front. On the surface, the cereal looks good and the brand seems trustworthy, but you are completely clueless about what you are actually purchasing.
Now think about the last time you read an article on a website. The page may have been attractive and the graphics clear, but do you know who wrote the content? Could you ascertain the author’s motivation for writing the piece?
Have you ever noticed how jarring it can be when an interface betrays your expectations? There are many properties of the physical world that we expect will be consistent in digital interfaces, but when designers ignore those concepts we can become confused. Sophia Prater outlines three strategies for designing digital interfaces that match human expectations from the physical world in this Good Read. Read the article here.
Humans do not process or store information the same way computers do and yet scientists continually talk about humans as if they were computers. This type of thinking limits how we explore cognitive science and needs to be changed to advance our understanding of humans. In this Good Read Robert Epstein explores the problem of the computer metaphor and suggests that it be deleted. Read the article here.
Advertising has annoyingly become a persistent part of the internet, but some styles are more intrusive and hated than others. Nielsen Norman Group ran a series of tests to determine which advertising techniques are most abhorred on mobile and desktop websites. Check out the results of the research in this Good Read here
Many companies use behavioral psychology to drive sales, but those strategies are often hidden from consumers. A new revealing article by Noam Scheiber of the New York Times details a variety of techniques Uber uses to motivate its drivers. Read the Good Read here: link
Click. Click. Huh?
Browsing a website to read articles by clicking on links is a fairly standardized interaction. A user sees something of interest, clicks on a link, and is directed to another part of the same website that displays whatever he or she desires to read. This simple interaction is consistent throughout most of the internet.
But sometimes websites do not follow this convention creating moments of confusion that sound like ‘Click. Click. Huh?’.
Locked-in syndrome can leave patients completely paralyzed with no way to indicate to the world that they are still conscious, but some people with this condition have been able to use eye coded communication. Researchers in Europe have created a brain computer interface that measures brain activity to allow patients who have lost the ability to make any movements to indicate ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in response to questions. Although the system is limited, it offers a peek at the future of brain computer interfaces. Read MIT Technology Review’s article about the exciting new interface here.
Valid research is essential for successful product development, but it can easily become tainted in a variety of ways. The Hawthorne effect is a well-known and controversial concept that has implications for user research. This post will describe the Hawthorne effect, the issues it may cause during user research, and suggestions for mitigating the phenomena.