Human Memory & Hilarious UX Design

This morning I was reading Joshua Foer’s Moonwalking with Einstein (buy it, it’s fabulous), in which he describes how anyone can master great feats of memory. Key to the technique – first documented in the 90s BC – is coming up with a novel image in your mind that represents the item you’re trying to remember, then placing that image in a physical space that you’re very familiar with, so you can retrace your steps and remember a long list of items in the right order. For example Joshua recounts... Read The Rest →

Readjusting social norms

It’s a fact that people do things they wouldn’t normally do because of their environment. Hence in the 90s, ‘Broken Windows Theory’, proposed by scientists James Wilson and George Kelling (1982), was adopted by government officials like the New York Mayor. The theory suggested that even small signs of disorder, like a broken window in a storefront that goes unfixed, or graffiti on public transport – could encourage more negative behavior in other domains, because seeing these signs normalises such behaviour, making it seem more acceptable. Scientists like Robert Cialdini... Read The Rest →

The quest for autonomy

Autonomy comes from the Greek word autonomos, meaning (auto) ‘self’ (nomos) ‘law’. It refers to ‘the capacity of a rational individual to make an informed, un-coerced decision’ [Wikipedia]. For some time we’ve known that autonomy is what really makes people happy at work (not money! evidenced here and here). Luckily, enabling people to doing things in a self-guided way is exactly what makes companies most innovative and profitable. Just look at Google engineers, encouraged to take 20% of their time to work on whatever they like; hence Gmail, Google News... Read The Rest →

Humanity 2.0 on slideshare homepage

Nice one slideshare! “Hey ResonanceBlog! Your presentation Complexity & Humanity 2.0 has been selected amongst the ‘Top Presentations of the Day’ on the SlideShare homepage. Our editorial team would like to thank you for this awesome presentation, that has been chosen from amongst the thousands that are uploaded to SlideShare everday. Congratulations! Have a Great Day! - The SlideShare team p.s. Why not blog/twitter this and let the world know about the masterpiece you have created?”

The power of WHY

As we’re increasingly bombarded with overchoice in today’s world – evident in the tens of billions of SKUs we’re faced with – our internal filtering and image-storing is stretched, forcing us to skim, scan and dump the contemplative. But some people manage to pause, take a breath and simply ask ‘WHY?’ For instance, if you haven’t already heard about the incredible work of Pranav Mistry, it’s worth googling. Pranav dared to ask WHY. Why do we sit at a computer in a chair with a mouse? Why is that the... Read The Rest →

Our biased brains

I had a fascinating chat with Ogilvy Group UK Vice-Chairman Rory Sutherland the other day. We talked about the need for advertising to understand psychology and behaviour, rather than focusing on proposition alone. On that note, it’s always useful to be reminded of how our heads really work; and how our biases affect belief formation and decision-making. Here are some examples: * Bandwagon effect — the tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same. Related to groupthink and herd behaviour. * Bias blind... Read The Rest →

Dirty meaning factories

People live, then they die. Get over it. We all die and life is short. This is the fundamental fact of life that causes us to seek meaning… to crave it (so as not to feel pointless – hence religion… and brands). Marketers sussed this out. Roll on the brand campaigns that attach meaning to things they want us to buy… mass marketing and broadcasting (human standardisation). So we buy stuff. It differs according to our environment (e.g. I’m a London business dude so I really can’t possibly be a... Read The Rest →

Management is so last century

As David Weinberger said in The Cluetrain Manifesto, ‘Management is a powerful force, part of a larger life-scheme that promises us health, prosperity, calm and no surprises in every aspect of our lives, from health to wealth to good weather and moderately heated coffee from McDonald’s. We are all victims of this assault on voice, the attempt to get us to shut up and listen to the narrowest range of ideas imaginable.’ Here here. It’s bizarre, when you think about it, that we seek health, prosperity and calm in a... Read The Rest →

Cognitive dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is central to many forms of persuasion; changing beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors. It’s a high-tension state between two opposing beliefs, often inducing confusion, then anger and finally an intense desire to correct the imbalance and rediscover consonance (RESONANCE). Rather than using cognitive dissonance by manipulating people into making decisions they wouldn’t normally make, e.g. by asking someone a daft question (e.g. (“Do you ever worry about your monthly outgoings and wonder how you could reduce them?”) before pitching… the new way involves turning the mundane on its... Read The Rest →

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