Category Archives: Perception and Performance

time square with many advertisments

Native Advertising: A New Grey Space

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With the business model of mass media crumbling and marketers giving up on banner ads, a lot of new and more ethically questionable approaches to native advertising are being piloted. One of the more public examples was last year when the Church of Scientology wrote an article and paid for it to be published on the Atlantic magazine’s website. It was an advertorial, but you couldn’t really tell by looking at the website. Can you imagine the uproar if a front page article in the New York Times was paid for? Or CNN lead story? Just wait, it might be right around the corner…

a woman looking at a computer screen

Unexpected Places Where People Direct Their Visual Attention

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Several studies recently have disproved the common wisdom that users don’t scroll down past the visual image that originally appears on the screen. I think this article summarizes the basic idea and cites a lot of good sources. They speculate that the reason is that in the 90s we just weren’t used to scrolling so it wasn’t part of our screen parsing habit. But now we are used to it, expect it, so we do…

an old voting booth

Aesthetic Affiliation: Could it Really Be That Easy?

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Previous research has found that after participants choose an aesthetically pleasing design, they become more open to uncertainty. The hypothesis is that high aesthetic products have an innate value that gives you the same positive feeling that self-affirmation does. But, this is not practical in the field. So this study wanted to find a more practical way to do it. They wanted to know if highlighting the participant’s connection to an aesthetically pleasing design could do it. This could be done in the field (i.e the real world)…

many receipts

Emailed Receipts as a Multi-Purpose User Experience Tool

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Ryan Hoover’s blog is a pretty casual take on persuasive design. But he often has some good insights there so I read it regularly. This post on email receipts caught my eye so I thought I would share. “Instinctively, I opened the email, quickly glanced at the charge to verify the dollar amount, and archived it. Later that day I reflected on that moment and thought, ‘What a missed opportunity.’…”

pal-v flying car shown driving on the road and flying in the air

Want a Flying Car?

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I am disappointed that the flying car came out in Europe first, although I can’t afford the $400k price tag anyway. “Flying cars have been reserved to science fiction… until now. Pal-V, a Dutch company, has created the world’s first road (and air) legal flying car”…

An image of notes and other brainstorming tools

User Experience in the Mainstream Media

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It was great to read this interview with Michael Heilemann from Squarespace and Aarron Walter from Mailchimp at Fast Company magazine. The takeaway I want to highlight today is that the way these two tech execs define user experience is very interdisciplinary. It involves every area of human factors. As a quick test, I scanned the list of HFES Technical Groups and I couldn’t find one that wasn’t included and essential in their definition…

Image of an email message icon

How Important is Response Time for Automated Emails?

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I just signed up for an email newsletter (don’t ask!!) and I realized something when I got the mandatory “I am not a bot and this is my real email” request. I received the confirmation email in less than a second after hitting enter on the host’s website. That made me feel very confident of the quality/reliability/legitimacy of the host…