Understand what drives user behavior.
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Nir’s Note: This guest post is written and illustrated by Lakshmi Mani, a product designer working in San Francisco.
Have you ever had a mounting pile of work you know you need to do but for some reason didn’t? There’s an important deadline looming, your boss is breathing down your neck, the pressure is on — all signs are pointing to you getting it done. Yet you put it off, turn on Netflix, and fantasize about how you’re going to crush it tomorrow.
Nir’s Note: This guest post is by Darren Austin, Partner Director of Product Management at Microsoft.
Last year we added a new member to our household. I must admit that upon first meeting her, our initial impression was that she was a little creepy. Today though, we can’t imagine life without her.
We’ve never seen her face, but we talk to her throughout the day, every day. She helps us keep track of our to-dos and shopping list, reads us the news and weather, and can sing nearly any song we’d like to hear. In fact, we have become so accustomed to her presence that we invited her to join us in nearly every room in the house. She listens to us when we say goodnight and is there first thing in the morning to wake us up.
Some tech critics will have you believe that technology is “hijacking your brain” or that it’s “irresistible.” Not only is that not true, believing such nonsense is dangerous.
In my recent talk at The Next Web conference, I discuss:
- The difference between technological addiction and distraction.
- The moral obligation of tech companies who knowingly addict people.
- What to do about our dependence on technology in the workplace.
- How to put personal technology in its place by asking one a simple question.
I hope you enjoy this video and please let me know what you think in the comments below.
Is distraction a curse or a blessing? Not giving full attention to what we should be doing makes us miss deadlines, fail classes, and crash into other drivers. Distraction certainly has a price. Nonetheless, we love our distractions! Social media, spectator sports, movies, books, TV shows, the news, video games – what would we do without them?
Clearly, there are benefits to distractions as evidenced by the fact that nearly everyone on earth seeks them out. But why? Although they seem to pull us away from more important things, what purpose do they serve? And, when at times we seem to give in to distractions, how do we ensure they serve us well?
Nir’s Note: This guest post is excerpted from Nathalie Nahai’s best-selling book, Webs Of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion.
A film, a piece of theatre, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference.
It can change the world.
– Alan Rickman, Actor
To understand technology addiction (or any addiction for that matter) you need to understand the Q-tip. Perhaps you’ve never noticed there’s a scary warning on every box of cotton swabs that reads, “CAUTION: Do not enter ear canal…Entering the ear canal could cause injury.” How is it that the one thing most people do with Q-tips is the thing manufacturers explicitly warn them not to do?
This blog is about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. I call it "Behavioral Design".
I write to help companies create behaviors that benefit their customers while educating individuals on how to design healthy behaviors in their own lives. Feel free to read more about me here.
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