Tag » psychology

Designing the on-hold experience

A standard telephone keypad.

Image via Wikipedia

On designing the on-hold experience:

In the first of two experiments, Munichor and Rafaeli found that callers who were given information about their place in line reported more positive experiences—and hung up less frequently—than those who were played background music. And as for recorded apologies? They can make the situation worse, said Rafaeli.

Every interaction your company has with a customer is an opportunity to leave a good impression. via David Hammer.

A matter of context

A matter of context

A few months ago, the Washington Post organized a little experiment in the subway: they had violin prodigy Joshua Bell play incognito for 45 minutes. Along with a detailed account of the event, the article offers some great analysis of why we like art and the importance of context.

This article provoked a real storm of posts on the blogosphere, so I expect many of you will already have read it. However, I wanted to highlight a few posts that I found particularly interesting:

  • An actual subway musician explains that, while Bell is a great musician, he’s not very good at being a subway musician.
    when you play on the street you can’t approach it as if you are playing on a stage. Busking is an art form of its own.

  • Frog Design makes the broader point from a design perspective that Context is King:

    No matter how good your idea is and no matter how well you execute on it, if you get the context wrong you will miss your audience entirely.

  • and Diego Rodriguez offers some refreshing thoughts on the virtues of thinking like a child.
  • This sense of “beginner’s mind” or “mind of the child” is a pillar of design thinking. It’s the ability to see things afresh. To see deeply and to sense the truth and the beauty.

  • The author Gene Weingarten also published some responses to emails he received — don’t bother reading them all, but definitely check out the first few.

A little meta-comment here: some of you may have noticed these longer “link summary” posts. It’s a new format I’m experimenting with: rather than try to post everything as soon as possible (which I’ve clearly given up on), I’ll occasionally accumulate a few articles on a given topic and tie them together in one post. This not only fits my posting habits better, but hopefully makes for more interesting content than just links. Let me know what you think!

Watches at 10:08

Have you noticed that watches in advertisements are often set to 10:08?

Alzheimer’s and Art

The effects of Alzheimer’s on an artist’s work. For more details, read the accompanying article. Also, this is a New York Times article, so the link may become available at some point. I’m afraid there’s nothing I can do about that.

The Perfect Movie Formula

Gladwell on the formula for making perfect movies. Speaking of movie formulas, the Netflix Prize offers a million dollars to the team that substantially improves their movie recommendations. The data of course reveals lots of fun facts, such as these lists of loved, hated and contentious movies.

Scott Adams hacks his brain

Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, managed to hack his brain to circumvent a rare illness called Spasmodic Dysphonia. A wonderful story that reminds us that we can solve a lot more of our own problems than we sometimes think. And he’s done this before.

The Expert Mind

Following up on my Myth of the Prodigy link, here is an interesting article on the Expert Mind.

Airport security

This Boston Globe article compares the security measures at US Airports with those at Ben Gurion airport in Israel. Unfortunately, the author conflates behavioral profiling (good) with racial profiling (bad). This NYT article covers how the US is trying to adopt these methods.

Article on how inaudibly low tones affect conversations. I find this particularly interesting in that mp3s cut out low tones as part of the compression – perhaps vinyl lovers have a point when they claim that we lose some of the depth of the music.

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2006-6-7-12:15 AM #

via: Don't remember...
The Paradox of Choice

Barry Schwartz gave a great talk at Google a few weeks ago about The Paradox of Choice, or how more choices often leaves you worse off.