Tags: 2nd reading ambient informatics ambient intelligence ambient personality and data pov apple t-shirts barbie BIOTailor burroughs coffeeist design intentions directional ticket dispepsi final project update Fogg iphone apps ipod lie detector lockton media midterm MIPs Netflix non-human persuasive technology poison snooper Question 1 question2 Question 2 Reading 1 Reading 2 redesigning emotions Sandra's Exposure Presentation sensor networks social persuasion technology and transparency technovelgy Technovelgy Group Assignment tv weapons week2 Week 2 Week 3 Technovelgy Response week 4 non-human post week 4 reading response week 8 emotions

By (January 25, 2009) (,)

The underlying values and ideas that go into the design process have always been very interesting to me. When it comes to an interactive experience, it’s essential to note captology and think about the success or failure of the intentions. I’m left a bit unsatisfied by the term because part of what’s interesting to me is also the outcome and not just the intention. Of course there are many outcomes and it is impossible to track them all.

I’m thinking of the example of second life in particular. The idea of having an ongoing online game sounds great to me, the idea that people can get lost in this game and have such consequences in their real life, is scary. In a way it is a success to the game’s creators, since they managed to make such an engaging online world that is definitely persuasive and manages to keep them coming back and spend their time in this alternative reality.

Another thing that comes back to me is the experience of booking travel online. Particularly air travel companies have been getting more and more sophisticated websites over the past few years but in the end the simple details make it such a different online experience. Leaving the marketing aspects to it aside, the Jetblue website is really quite remarkable. In the end the service is the same, you go there and book a ticket, but it manages to portray a feeling of ease into the booking process. The many tabs with the different dates (instead of having to start a search over) make a huge difference to the experience. Overall it is less confusing and a lot more conforting.

Regarding my own work at ITP, probably Swish has been the most persuasive. The intention was to make a new toy that kept a kid motivated to wear prosthesis. The premise is simple: the game is tall and requires movement so you can’t actually see the screen, reach the basket and engage succesfully in play if you’re not in the level that the prosthesis allows you. Remmbr also tried out persuasiveness since it is aimed at being a tool that keeps the person reminded of important things, memories but more importantly perhaps, things that have been enjoyed in the past or that you want to return to. For visiting, shopping or eating or just keeping a record of the things you see that interest you and dont always have the attention to keep them in mind.

This week I was persuaded by Amazon to buy another book. The one I was looking for was also read by most buyers of the book and it had an additional discount if bought together. :) This happens quite often and I usually get good books, it’s also a case that’s discussed in the reading so I wont go into it. I also watched youtube videos and ended up being pointed out to “video responses” that were not at all related and just an attempt of people to use the persuasiveness of youtube’s structure to lure me into their own video. This experience was designed by youtube to keep me watching for longer and they did, but the users who post themselves as video responses when they are unrelated are just taking advantage of the structure. I also fell for the top stories in the New York Times. It’s always interesting to see how they are usually not that relevant and yet, get enormous amounts of attention.  This experience was very well designed by the online NYT for people who open up the website, look through a few familiar places and then don’t really know where else to look so they end up in trusting the judgement of the masses. It keeps me longer on the website and takes me places I might not have gone otherwise.

Back to the readings, I found the argument behind the Talbott examples very interesting. The balance between being transparent or giving constant support is fascinating. A great risk of persuasive technologies is being pests, annoying us with filling up forms or giving up information. I like the response of bugmenot.com and it definitely comes from someone who has spent enough time thinking about the intent and the experience of this websites.


January 25, 2009


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