Psychological factors such as thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition directly correlate with our customers’ online advertising experience. Making customers feel like wanting to do something requires us to offer a completely enthralling experience, not one that has negative connotations for our customers. Today, we often see advertisements that clamor for our attention, begging us to view them. Customers’ past experiences with the Web set their expectations for online advertising today. How can we shift this prevalent advertising paradigm to one that instead has psychological appeal?
In this article, I’ll discuss the cognitive elements at the intersection of advertising and human behavior. By taking an approach to advertising that looks at the impact psychological factors have on customer behavior, I’ve learned that customers respond directly to online advertisements, as we can see from their emotions, behavior, and interactions on the Web. Read More
For most people, sound is an essential part of everyday living. Sound can deliver entertainment—like our favorite music or the play-by-play call of our hometown baseball—and vital information—like the traffic and news reports on the radio as we drive to work.
Audio signals also help us interact with our environment. Some of these signals are designed: We wake to the buzz of the alarm clock, answer the ringing telephone, and race to the kitchen when the shrill beep of the smoke alarm warns us that dinner is burning on the stove. Other audio signals are not deliberately designed, but help us nonetheless. For instance, we may know the proper sound of the central air conditioning starting, the gentle hum of the PC fan, or the noise of the refrigerator. So, when these systems go awry, we notice it immediately—something doesn’t sound right. Likewise, an excellent mechanic might be able to tell what is wrong with a car engine just by listening to it run.
Since people are accustomed to such a rich universe of offline sound, it’s notable that our digital user experiences—while far from silent—do not leverage audio information to the same extent that they do visual information. When designers and developers create user experiences—be they for Web applications, desktop applications, or digital devices—audio is often a missing ingredient. Read More
“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”—Nils Bohr
In my last column, I looked at how we could make the Iron Man suit a reality, using existing technologies. Some of the Twitter feedback and comments on that column talked about using brainwaves to control the suit, so I thought it would be interesting to see what is being done in that area.
Prediction, as Nils Bohr noted, can be a dangerous activity, but also fun: looking at trends in technology can help us to manage and prepare for uncertainty—or at least give us the illusion of doing so. Historically, in user experience, predictions of the future have been tied up with inventing it. Doug Engelbart’s “Mother of All Demos,” shown in Figure 1, being the most notable example. If you’ve not already seen this video, I strongly recommend a viewing. In 1968, Engelbart demonstrated videoconferencing, hypertext; a collaborative, real-time editor; and other technologies that we would not fully realize for decades to come. Read More