Friday, April 17, 2015

This Week in EID - Episode 50

The new format seems to be working out really well for the EID daily rhythm, but I don’t want to stick to it every week or our topics might get a little stale.  In part, I think if I vary how widely we define the daily themes it can stay pretty fresh.  This week’s definition of “design” is a good example.

For Innovation Monday, I wondered whether the dotcom vibe that WeWork is trying to set up in its coworking spaces is worth the extra costs. You should definitely read the article if you use coworking services of any kind because it is an interesting idea.  Does a foosball table at work really increase creativity?  Collaboration with people from other companies who happen to be coworker on that day?

On Science Tuesday, I presented Nir Eyal’s idea of progressive extremism as a way to break bad habits.  He was being quite literal because his expertise is in habit formation and behavioral design to create unconscious and automatic habits among users.  This isn’t really a new idea, it follows very well from what Gretchen Rubin recommends for “abstainers” and what James Clear uses for his “bright line rules.”  But the progressive part is new and could be useful if you need to eliminate a behavior that has already become habitual.

Our Design topic for Wednesday was from one of my favorite sources, the Bloomberg Law podcast.  This episode covered the NJ fight against the federal government about sports betting.  But our article is not about sports betting, it is about who decides what words mean.  As a human factors practitioner, it seems to me that the way words are used by customers and providers should decide it. But in this case, a panel of Appellate judges will be deciding.  Silliness as usual in our government.

Then finally, I hope I provoked some real thought with mypost on Persuasive Design and the White Hat/Black Hat distinction.  Some of the debate on Linked In kind of missed the point.  Every design strategy can be used well or poorly and many of them have black hat and white hat strategies. My point here was that in persuasive design, the difference is larger and our techniques are more powerful.  So we have to be more careful.  And I hope more ethical.  The problem is that a lot of designers don’t seem to notice or care about the difference.