Friday, January 16, 2015

This Week in EID - Episode 37

Some very different topics this week at Ergonomics in Design.   

On Monday, we talked about rituals.  That was written well before the Charlie Hebdo attack and did not intend to bring in the topic of religion.  But the coincidental timing gave a lot of readers some thoughts, shared with us on Linked In.  What we meant when writing the article was the kind of rituals that we create for ourselves.  Families create rituals for how they open their Christmas presents that are not based on any religious teachings or shared by their coreligionists. This goes beyond our daily routines like showering, dressing and eating breakfast.  They have an emotional component that drives us to follow them much more rigorously.  If we can get users to create rituals around their use of our designs, the engagement and switching costs are huge.

Tuesday was something much more biochemical.  Apparently, when addicts are going through withdrawal, their neurotransmitters get messed up in a way that prevents them from experiencing any kind of pleasure.  Unfortunately, this increases their chance of relapsing.  If we can get users addicted to our designs (not quite so biochemically, but to some extent), we may be able to achieve a similar type of effect.

The article that speculated about what kinds of issues might arise if your car could interject itself if it predicted you were about to make a mistake got comments on seven different Linked In groups.  I think that might be a record.  Issues spanned automation reliability, ethics, technology management, UI design, and more.  Pretty cool.

And then Thursday’s piece about crowdsourcing brought me back to a course I used to teach at FIU.  There are some very innovative ways to manage the crowdsourcing process.  The example in this post is driven by one big company, which is one of my least favorites but is one of the easiest to create, manage, and profit from.