Why do resumes on heavy clipboards make job candidates seem better qualified?
Why do rough objects make social interactions seem more difficult?
Why do hard chairs increase rigidity in negotiations?
In the realm of judgment and decision making, these are questions worth pondering, because research shows that people’s mindset is very much affected by what they physically touch. In this column, we’ll take a look at some fascinating studies in the area of embodied cognition that reveal the important linkage between what we touch and what we think—and how it affects both judgment and decision making.
We’ll start by looking at a series of studies  in which researchers considered three different tactile sensations—weight, texture, and hardness—and how they can influence people’s thoughts and perceptions. Read More
Although I’ve written a number of columns now on the topic of decision architecture, I never fail to be amazed at the examples of decision architecture I encounter in the real world and to witness just how effective they can be.
Last month, my family did what many people do every so often—we had family portraits taken. With a $9.99 coupon in hand, we set out for the portrait studio—dressed in color-coordinated outfits and ready with our best smiles—to get the deed done. And although I hadn’t anticipated it, I quickly realized that we had become players in an experience the portrait studio had orchestrated around some of the key principles I’ve outlined in my columns on decision architecture.
I’ll begin this column by describing what happened during our appointment, then talk in detail about the decision architecture concepts and principles that made the sales experience so effective for the portrait studio. Read More
Why should fancy restaurants print their menus in a font that is elegant, but difficult to read?
Why should scary rides in amusement parks have names that are difficult to pronounce?
How do people assess the risk of food additives in everyday grocery items?
… And what does any of this have to do with UX design and usability?
Every day, your users make judgments and decisions about the products and services you provide based on the way you present them. In this column, I’ll talk about why seemingly insignificant aspects of information presentation can have surprising effects on people’s perceptions and behavior. Read More