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
This is a sample chapter from Andrew Hinton’s new book, Understanding Context: Environment, Language, and Information Architecture, in which he explores the principles and processes that shape and change context for users. Chapter 21, “Narratives and Situations,” is one of the chapters from the book’s final segment on “Composing Context.”
Chapter 21: Narratives and Situations
The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms.—Muriel Rukeyser
People Make Sense Through Stories
Before composing something new we should understand what is already there. But we’ve already established that there is no stable, persistent “context” to begin with—that it emerges through action. So, how do we understand the current state if it won’t sit still? The key is in studying the experience from the points of view of the agents involved and how they think and behave. Those points of view provide the dynamic landscape—and the principles we derive from it—that puts everything else into perspective. These agents can be individual users, groups of them, organizations, and even digital actors. Let’s begin with how humans work—and how they understand their experience as narrative. Recall our working definition: context is an agent’s understanding of the relationships between the elements of the agent’s environment.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