Tag Archives: habit

Pile of Cheese curls

Progressive Extremism

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Behavioral Design is a common technique used in human factors. Users develop behaviors for a variety of reasons. If we can design products, systems and environments to fit within the users’ natural behaviors, it is much more likely that they will use our design and use it effectively. We can also design our products, systems and environments to make it easy for users to create new behaviors around them – again increase usage and performance. There are many experts in human behavior and habit formation that have published oodles of good information on this (BJ Fogg for example).

Using my Behavior Model (FBM) as a guide, designers can identify what stops people from performing behaviors that designers seek. For example, if users are not performing a target behavior, such as rating hotels on a travel web site, the FBM helps designers see what psychological element is lacking.
-BJ Fogg

Amazon Dash

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The Amazon Dash announcement has been making the rounds of social media memes, so I am sure you have seen it. But I want to provoke perhaps a more skeptical consideration. By now, you are probably familiar with the basic workings and the business model. And as HF pros, you probably have some insights on the behavioral science behind it.

The Dash Button is a bite-sized plastic module that you can stick anywhere you might want to impulse-restock a particular product (presumably in your home). It connects to Wi-Fi. You push it. Goods are shipped to your door. The buttons will be free for Prime members to order, so that they can use them to order more stuff from Amazon.

a facebook notification

How Long Do We Have to Wait for Effective Notifications?

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I have been sitting on this topic for over a year. I finally am breaking down. After the CES show, I don’t see anything better on the market right now, but this idea for operating system–level notification modeling from Shruti Gandhi has given be enough hope to propose some ideas.

One answer could be consolidation. Snowball is almost headed in the right direction. Snowball consolidates all your alerts in one place.

a small computing device clipped to a pocket to track movement

Fitbits for People with Multiple Sclerosis

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I have written before about wearables. They are a nice toy, but in general they don’t really do anything particularly useful, at least not with the current technology. This week, I read about a great application in health care, and I think it works.

Drugmaker Biogen Idec is exploring ways to use fitness trackers to gather data from people who suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord.

a pile of cigarettes

Addiction and Anhedonia

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I had never heard of the term before I read this article from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest. When an addict is going through withdrawal, one of the symptoms of course is craving. Addicts physically and psychologically crave the drug they are withdrawing from. But anhedonia is the phenomenon in which addicts going through withdrawal also experience a generalized inability to enjoy other pleasures…

a cat in a suitcase

Air Travel and Carry On Luggage

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Everyone has at least a few good carry-on luggage stories. First, there are the abusers. The person who had live chickens in a shopping bag (I really heard that on the news once!), the duffel bag that could fit full length skis and poles. It’s amazing what people try to get away with. Then we have the travel-lights…

a woman looking at her cell phone while driving

Cell Phone Distraction is About More Than Driving

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There is a great new study from Bill Thornton out of the University of Southern Maine.

The mere sight of your mobile phone can distract you – even if you are not using it…

a man standing in front of a large vending machine

Commitment Device: Constraining Users for their Own Good

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Springwise has been reporting on a variety of vending machines that constrain user behavior for their own good.

Businesses often stand by the motto ‘the customer is always right’ — but are they? We’ve already seen a few services that deny consumers what they want based on their personal info…

Standing Up for Team Collaboration

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This study is further proof of what we discussed a few weeks ago about the foolishness of partitioning HF/E into neck up and neck down phenomena. There are many links between the two that are counterintuitive and might never be discovered with such a limited mindset.

Non-sedentary work configurations, which encourage standing rather than sitting in the course of work, are becoming increasingly prevalent in organizations. In this article, we build and test theory about how non-sedentary arrangements influence interpersonal processes in groups performing knowledge work…

stephen colbert

The Real Science of Truthiness

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This piece has gone somewhat viral, and while the basic message is important, it gets some of the facts wrong. So I thought I would use this platform to share my concerns and see if you agree. Maybe it is me who is wrong.

Truthiness is “truth that comes from the gut, not books,” Colbert said in 2005. Scientists who study the phenomenon … use the term. It humorously captures how, as cognitive psychologist Eryn Newman put it, “smart, sophisticated people” can go awry on questions of fact.