Simplicity (again)

8 Apr 2007 - 9:50pm
7 years ago
15 replies
832 reads
Dave Malouf
2005

http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/NussbaumOnDesign/archives/2007/04/simplicity_ease.html?campaign_id=rss_blog_nussbaumondesign

What do people think about Nussbaum's equation of simplicity with
reduced features? I think he is pretty off the mark here.

-- dave

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

Comments

8 Apr 2007 - 10:03pm
Darryll DeCoster
2007

It seems to me that it's a similar conundrum that befalls software and
application development with Continuous Integration and Agile Development
paradigms. There are always going to be more people trying to point out what
went or what is wrong than who are trying to create a solution for a
problem.

It's easy to find lousy Interfaces or feature rich applications where 25% of
the features never get touched and only add unnecessary complexity to the
UI. I agree that he is off base. If I cared to look I could an equal number
pf known people stating the opposite of his stance, in fact I could find video
clips ( http://youtube.com/watch?v=QKh1Rv0PlOQ )
<http://youtube.com/watch?v=QKh1Rv0PlOQ>of amazing UIs on the bleeding edge.

Darryll

--
www.perubique.com
www.floggingenglish.com
www.delivermyliver.com

On 4/8/07, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/NussbaumOnDesign/archives/2007/04/simplicity_ease.html?campaign_id=rss_blog_nussbaumondesign
>
> What do people think about Nussbaum's equation of simplicity with
> reduced features? I think he is pretty off the mark here.
>
> -- dave
>
> --
> David Malouf
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixda.org/
> http://motorola.com/
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

8 Apr 2007 - 10:37pm
trevvg
2006

I think that a well-designed interface (in whatever form that takes) can
reduce both the appearance and embodiment of complexity, making complex
things easier to do.

That being said, I do think that Nussbaum's view reflects the common,
non-designer interpetation that "simplicity" means reduced features. And
I'd say this is true with extreme numbers of features at either end..

I recently posted on this at:

http://www.affectivedesign.org/archives/47

I was hoping to get a better idea of what non-designers thought of as
constituting "simplicity".

Trevor

> It seems to me that it's a similar conundrum that befalls software and
> application development with Continuous Integration and Agile Development
> paradigms. There are always going to be more people trying to point out
> what
> went or what is wrong than who are trying to create a solution for a
> problem.
>
> It's easy to find lousy Interfaces or feature rich applications where 25%
> of
> the features never get touched and only add unnecessary complexity to the
> UI. I agree that he is off base. If I cared to look I could an equal
> number
> pf known people stating the opposite of his stance, in fact I could find
> video
> clips ( http://youtube.com/watch?v=QKh1Rv0PlOQ )
> <http://youtube.com/watch?v=QKh1Rv0PlOQ>of amazing UIs on the bleeding
> edge.
>
> Darryll
>
> --
> www.perubique.com
> www.floggingenglish.com
> www.delivermyliver.com
>
> On 4/8/07, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>> http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/NussbaumOnDesign/archives/2007/04/simplicity_ease.html?campaign_id=rss_blog_nussbaumondesign
>>
>> What do people think about Nussbaum's equation of simplicity with
>> reduced features? I think he is pretty off the mark here.
>>
>> -- dave
>>
>> --
>> David Malouf
>> http://synapticburn.com/
>> http://ixda.org/
>> http://motorola.com/
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

9 Apr 2007 - 6:30am
Mark Schraad
2006

One of the benefits of a narrow, tightly controlled discipline is a
more precise language (think AMA). Design is so ubiquitous, and while
so common a practice, also has at its forefront a number of varied
professions. An accurate set of terms is not something we really have
at our disposal. Simplicity and reduced features are probably not the
right terms and are most certainly opposite ends of a common continuum.

Simplicity, eloquent, easy to use, intuitive - all sketch to the
point. They are not the opposite of robust, full feature, capable,
and powerful.

_________
I also think that the Moggridge quote is a bit off the mark. It seems
that (this is a theory not proven) older users come to a situation
with many more schema at their disposal. None of which may be
directly helpful when encountering a new interaction. As people age
they find success with further refined, and a more usable set of
schema. This most likely amplifies the error or failure and compounds
the frustration when they do not work.

_________
I do think however that Nussbaum has a pretty accurate take on the
media in the April 8 column.

On Apr 8, 2007, at 11:50 PM, David Malouf wrote:

> What do people think about Nussbaum's equation of simplicity with
> reduced features? I think he is pretty off the mark here.
>
> -- dave

9 Apr 2007 - 7:34am
Lisa Harper
2007

It seems to me people often reduce the dilemma of simplicity to a narrow
perspective. The context here was "age". But there are a two terms
additional that come to mind when I read this column: "technology natives"
and "technology immigrants". I wonder if what we're experiencing has less to
do with age than with generation?

A good case-in-point is perhaps the phenomenon of Twitter. It's simple. Yet
it's primarily "technology natives" that appreciate and enjoy using this
technology. Maybe this distinction is an over-simplification, but "simple"
versus "complex" seems a very contextual distinction.

Lisa Harper
MITRE

On 4/8/07, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/NussbaumOnDesign/archives/2007/04/simplicity_ease.html?campaign_id=rss_blog_nussbaumondesign
>
> What do people think about Nussbaum's equation of simplicity with
> reduced features? I think he is pretty off the mark here.
>
> -- dave
>
> --
> David Malouf
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixda.org/
> http://motorola.com/
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

9 Apr 2007 - 7:39am
Dave Malouf
2005

On 4/9/07, Lisa Harper <lisah2u at gmail.com> wrote:
> A good case-in-point is perhaps the phenomenon of Twitter. It's simple. Yet
> it's primarily "technology natives" that appreciate and enjoy using this
> technology. Maybe this distinction is an over-simplification, but "simple"
> versus "complex" seems a very contextual distinction.

Awesome point Lisa ... b/c even people of the same generation are not
equally techno savvy.

BUT! I do think there are specific needs that elders require when it
comes to technology, which has less to do about simplicity and more to
do about bio-specification of eye-sight and dexterity.

I have seen some elders take to technology real easily and have no
problems with it, and others have a really hard time with it.

-- dave

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

9 Apr 2007 - 7:45am
.pauric
2006

"I was hoping to get a better idea of what non-designers thought of as
constituting "simplicity"."

I've seen non technical people use the word 'clean' to describe well
designed, apparently 'simple', interfaces.

I believe the concept of simplicity is very much an engineering centric
term. It combines both the presentation layer and the underlying schema,
whereas non-technical users evaluate the 'skin' alone.

I've concluded that a design, esp device design, with a low cognitive load
is perceived as clean. You can bury a tonne of features in a clean design.
So, I think a goal of 'simplicity' is a big red herring for designers.

This essentially boils everything back down to 'dont make me think'

9 Apr 2007 - 7:57am
Bill DeRouchey
2010

On 4/9/07, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> I believe the concept of simplicity is very much an engineering centric
> term. It combines both the presentation layer and the underlying schema,
> whereas non-technical users evaluate the 'skin' alone.
>
> I've concluded that a design, esp device design, with a low cognitive load
> is perceived as clean. You can bury a tonne of features in a clean
> design.
> So, I think a goal of 'simplicity' is a big red herring for designers.
>
> This essentially boils everything back down to 'dont make me think'

I've ended up in this same place. I tend to approach simplicity as reducing
moments of hesitation. Lifting liberally from Steve Krug, every time someone
has to stop and think about how to use something, simplicity is reduced.
Icons that don't communicate? The person using the whatever stops to figure
it out. Labels that aren't clear? The person has to try to translate it into
their language. No communicated hierarchy of what features have the highest
priority? The person has to figure out what to do first.

In insider terms, it's reducing cognitive load. In everyday terms, it's
don't make me think.

Simplicity is clarity.

________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

9 Apr 2007 - 9:03am
Chris Bernard
2007

I think Joel on Software does much better on articulating simplicity.

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2006/12/09.html

Simplicity is sometimes a judo move. You often can't have a lot of features with a new product anyway. (And please, don't take this observation as some judgment or insight on Blend, different subject).

Chris Bernard
Microsoft
User Experience Evangelist
chris.bernard at microsoft.com
312.925.4095

Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
Design: www.microsoft.com/design
Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of David Malouf
Sent: Sunday, April 08, 2007 10:50 PM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Simplicity (again)

http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/NussbaumOnDesign/archives/2007/04/simplicity_ease.html?campaign_id=rss_blog_nussbaumondesign

What do people think about Nussbaum's equation of simplicity with
reduced features? I think he is pretty off the mark here.

-- dave

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
(Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

9 Apr 2007 - 9:49am
Dave Malouf
2005

Joshua Porter just posted this article about Simplicity:
http://www.uie.com/articles/simplicity/

-- dave

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

9 Apr 2007 - 10:24am
.pauric
2006

Bill "The person using the whatever stops to figure it out. Labels that
aren't clear. The person has to try to translate it into their language."

I could not have put it better myself. In a little experiment recently, I
took some kit I'm working on and added a few 'features'. I took a wireless
home router and added an analogue meter as well as clearer LED iconography
and a power button. The meter & button aren't found on any vendors
equipment. So, technically, the device is now more complicated.

Feedback has been positive, Engadget had this to say "Although Sprint didn't
mind showing off its new router today, this step back in time really puts
the modern day approach to shame"
<
http://www.engadget.com/2007/03/28/classy-wooden-router-literally-gauges-network-utilization/
>

And peppered though comments on the various blogs that picked it up is this
word 'clean' again. I think it may be related to the initial snapshot
(500mS) judgment researchers have discovered. Clean/Simple = inviting =
willing to invest in the learning curve.

10 Apr 2007 - 2:21pm
Morten Hjerde
2007

On 4/9/07, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Joshua Porter just posted this article about Simplicity:
> http://www.uie.com/articles/simplicity/

The article mentions an experiment that Barry Schwartz did (or refers to). I
believe Barry Schwartz has some excellent points in his talks, but in my
mind there is something deeply wrong in that experiment. Is it just me?
Participants are asked to put a value on a car that has substandard safety.
OK, people give it a monetary value. Then, people are asked if they prefer a
safe and expensive car - or the not-so-safe car that they estimated a price
on. Of course people are going to prefer the safe car.
You can ask people to place a hypotetical value on a hypotetical car, but if
you take it one step further and ask people to choose one of the cars, to
commit - even if it is hypotetically - people will balk. Because safety and
money are not on the same scale. Money may be on a linear scale, but safety
is a plateau/level-thing. The experimenters seems to think that making
people place a monetary value on an low quality (low safety) item would make
people willing to choose it.

We did an experiment in the office:
Participants were told that Alarm Clock A costs $25 and ranks high in its
ability to ring every morning (8 on a 10-point scale). Alarm Clock B ranks
6 in its ability to ring every morning. Participants were then asked how
much Alarm Clock B would have to cost to be as attractive as Alarm Clock A.
...
Even though their decision was purely hypothetical, participants experienced
substantial negative emotion when choosing between Alarm Clock A and B. And
if the experimental procedure gave them the opportunity, they refused to
make the decision at all.

This experimenter thinks that they went out and bought an Alarm Clock that
would ring *every* morning.

10 Apr 2007 - 2:41pm
Todd Roberts
2005

Let's say the alarm clock that rang every morning costs $5000 and the
one that rings 60% of the mornings costs $10. My guess is you would
have some people choosing the 60% clock. In order for the experiment
to work right, you have to find the tradeoff point where the cost
offsets the value, which is what the first part of Schwartz's
experiments do. Asking people to make a choice between unequal choices
won't create the same discomfort as that shown in his experiements.

Likewise, in an interface where all options are perceived as equally
valuable, people will have a hard time choosing which path to follow.
Hence you can make interfaces easier to use by removing options or
somehow increasing the value of the "right" option for a given
context.

On 4/10/07, Morten Hjerde <mhjerde at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 4/9/07, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Joshua Porter just posted this article about Simplicity:
> > http://www.uie.com/articles/simplicity/
>
>
>
> The article mentions an experiment that Barry Schwartz did (or refers to). I
> believe Barry Schwartz has some excellent points in his talks, but in my
> mind there is something deeply wrong in that experiment. Is it just me?
> Participants are asked to put a value on a car that has substandard safety.
> OK, people give it a monetary value. Then, people are asked if they prefer a
> safe and expensive car - or the not-so-safe car that they estimated a price
> on. Of course people are going to prefer the safe car.
> You can ask people to place a hypotetical value on a hypotetical car, but if
> you take it one step further and ask people to choose one of the cars, to
> commit - even if it is hypotetically - people will balk. Because safety and
> money are not on the same scale. Money may be on a linear scale, but safety
> is a plateau/level-thing. The experimenters seems to think that making
> people place a monetary value on an low quality (low safety) item would make
> people willing to choose it.
>
>
> We did an experiment in the office:
> Participants were told that Alarm Clock A costs $25 and ranks high in its
> ability to ring every morning (8 on a 10-point scale). Alarm Clock B ranks
> 6 in its ability to ring every morning. Participants were then asked how
> much Alarm Clock B would have to cost to be as attractive as Alarm Clock A.
> ...
> Even though their decision was purely hypothetical, participants experienced
> substantial negative emotion when choosing between Alarm Clock A and B. And
> if the experimental procedure gave them the opportunity, they refused to
> make the decision at all.
>
> This experimenter thinks that they went out and bought an Alarm Clock that
> would ring *every* morning.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

10 Apr 2007 - 2:51pm
Dave Malouf
2005

This is a bit interesting.
The way it just came to me is if I could "build" my product knowing
the price of the features.

i.e. when I buy a car, I can compare everything:
Consumer Reports for safety and reliability
Lists of features compared using cars.com
Accessories are priced out individually

In this way I can make that decision quite easily.

Now the difference here is that EVERYONE would want the mercedes
(putting style aside for moment, b/c we know that is a factor), if
cost wasn't an issue.

What people end up doing is looking at the total price first,
selecting the "budget" before even looking at the comparisons. Then
they create a collection of options across those products that fit in
their budget and then and only then make the comparisons. We do this
out of necessity, or we'd go insane with way too many options.

But even then, style and presentation in general, + brand reputation
can change things in unpredictable ways.

There is so much to this puzzle beyond "usability" or even "feature
lists" that any experiment seems quite difficult to prove out.

-- dave

On 4/10/07, Todd Roberts <trrobert at gmail.com> wrote:
> Let's say the alarm clock that rang every morning costs $5000 and the
> one that rings 60% of the mornings costs $10. My guess is you would
> have some people choosing the 60% clock. In order for the experiment
> to work right, you have to find the tradeoff point where the cost
> offsets the value, which is what the first part of Schwartz's
> experiments do. Asking people to make a choice between unequal choices
> won't create the same discomfort as that shown in his experiements.
>
> Likewise, in an interface where all options are perceived as equally
> valuable, people will have a hard time choosing which path to follow.
> Hence you can make interfaces easier to use by removing options or
> somehow increasing the value of the "right" option for a given
> context.
>
>
>
> On 4/10/07, Morten Hjerde <mhjerde at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 4/9/07, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > Joshua Porter just posted this article about Simplicity:
> > > http://www.uie.com/articles/simplicity/
> >
> >
> >
> > The article mentions an experiment that Barry Schwartz did (or refers to). I
> > believe Barry Schwartz has some excellent points in his talks, but in my
> > mind there is something deeply wrong in that experiment. Is it just me?
> > Participants are asked to put a value on a car that has substandard safety.
> > OK, people give it a monetary value. Then, people are asked if they prefer a
> > safe and expensive car - or the not-so-safe car that they estimated a price
> > on. Of course people are going to prefer the safe car.
> > You can ask people to place a hypotetical value on a hypotetical car, but if
> > you take it one step further and ask people to choose one of the cars, to
> > commit - even if it is hypotetically - people will balk. Because safety and
> > money are not on the same scale. Money may be on a linear scale, but safety
> > is a plateau/level-thing. The experimenters seems to think that making
> > people place a monetary value on an low quality (low safety) item would make
> > people willing to choose it.
> >
> >
> > We did an experiment in the office:
> > Participants were told that Alarm Clock A costs $25 and ranks high in its
> > ability to ring every morning (8 on a 10-point scale). Alarm Clock B ranks
> > 6 in its ability to ring every morning. Participants were then asked how
> > much Alarm Clock B would have to cost to be as attractive as Alarm Clock A.
> > ...
> > Even though their decision was purely hypothetical, participants experienced
> > substantial negative emotion when choosing between Alarm Clock A and B. And
> > if the experimental procedure gave them the opportunity, they refused to
> > make the decision at all.
> >
> > This experimenter thinks that they went out and bought an Alarm Clock that
> > would ring *every* morning.
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> >
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

10 Apr 2007 - 3:06pm
Morten Hjerde
2007

I guess that what I am thinking is that not all features are optional. If
you think safety is important in a car, you will select from a pool of cars
that you percieve to be "safe", and you will not be willing to select a car
outside that pool. If a $5000 Alarm Clock was your only way to get up every
morning and you would loose your job without one, you would probably buy
one.

The "problem" is of course that not everybody has the same priorities. So,
either you try to cram every possible feature into a product or you make 10
different products, each adressing different customer types. In a mature
market there is often a very wide variety of similar products - hundreds of
car models, hundreds of mobile phone models - etc.

In early markets and in software there send to be few variations. Especially
software has had a tendency to cram everything into one product.

On 4/10/07, Todd Roberts <trrobert at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Let's say the alarm clock that rang every morning costs $5000 and the
> one that rings 60% of the mornings costs $10. My guess is you would
> have some people choosing the 60% clock. In order for the experiment
> to work right, you have to find the tradeoff point where the cost
> offsets the value, which is what the first part of Schwartz's
> experiments do. Asking people to make a choice between unequal choices
> won't create the same discomfort as that shown in his experiements.
>
> Likewise, in an interface where all options are perceived as equally
> valuable, people will have a hard time choosing which path to follow.
> Hence you can make interfaces easier to use by removing options or
> somehow increasing the value of the "right" option for a given
> context.
>
>
>
> On 4/10/07, Morten Hjerde <mhjerde at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 4/9/07, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > Joshua Porter just posted this article about Simplicity:
> > > http://www.uie.com/articles/simplicity/
> >
> >
> >
> > The article mentions an experiment that Barry Schwartz did (or refers
> to). I
> > believe Barry Schwartz has some excellent points in his talks, but in my
> > mind there is something deeply wrong in that experiment. Is it just me?
> > Participants are asked to put a value on a car that has substandard
> safety.
> > OK, people give it a monetary value. Then, people are asked if they
> prefer a
> > safe and expensive car - or the not-so-safe car that they estimated a
> price
> > on. Of course people are going to prefer the safe car.
> > You can ask people to place a hypotetical value on a hypotetical car,
> but if
> > you take it one step further and ask people to choose one of the cars,
> to
> > commit - even if it is hypotetically - people will balk. Because safety
> and
> > money are not on the same scale. Money may be on a linear scale, but
> safety
> > is a plateau/level-thing. The experimenters seems to think that making
> > people place a monetary value on an low quality (low safety) item would
> make
> > people willing to choose it.
> >
> >
> > We did an experiment in the office:
> > Participants were told that Alarm Clock A costs $25 and ranks high in
> its
> > ability to ring every morning (8 on a 10-point scale). Alarm Clock B
> ranks
> > 6 in its ability to ring every morning. Participants were then asked how
> > much Alarm Clock B would have to cost to be as attractive as Alarm Clock
> A.
> > ...
> > Even though their decision was purely hypothetical, participants
> experienced
> > substantial negative emotion when choosing between Alarm Clock A and B.
> And
> > if the experimental procedure gave them the opportunity, they refused to
> > make the decision at all.
> >
> > This experimenter thinks that they went out and bought an Alarm Clock
> that
> > would ring *every* morning.
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> >
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

10 Apr 2007 - 5:05pm
Mark Schraad
2006

I like the "extended decision model" by James Engel for thinking
through this.

The stages are sensitive to the specifics of the purchase but they
are as follows:

1 Problem recognition
2 Search for information
3 Evaluation of Alternatives
4 Purchase decision and purchase
5 Post purchase behavior

Alternately, many sales oriented organizations teach the "funnel".
But the funnel is geared toward pushing consumer behavior to the sale
and then dropping them. The EDM model comes from behavioral
psychology and is more germane to how consumers actually behave.

Mark

On Apr 10, 2007, at 4:51 PM, David Malouf wrote:

> This is a bit interesting.
> The way it just came to me is if I could "build" my product knowing
> the price of the features.
>
> i.e. when I buy a car, I can compare everything:
> Consumer Reports for safety and reliability
> Lists of features compared using cars.com
> Accessories are priced out individually
>
> In this way I can make that decision quite easily.
>
> Now the difference here is that EVERYONE would want the mercedes
> (putting style aside for moment, b/c we know that is a factor), if
> cost wasn't an issue.
>
> What people end up doing is looking at the total price first,
> selecting the "budget" before even looking at the comparisons. Then
> they create a collection of options across those products that fit in
> their budget and then and only then make the comparisons. We do this
> out of necessity, or we'd go insane with way too many options.
>
> But even then, style and presentation in general, + brand reputation
> can change things in unpredictable ways.
>
> There is so much to this puzzle beyond "usability" or even "feature
> lists" that any experiment seems quite difficult to prove out.
>
> -- dave
>
>
> On 4/10/07, Todd Roberts <trrobert at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Let's say the alarm clock that rang every morning costs $5000 and the
>> one that rings 60% of the mornings costs $10. My guess is you would
>> have some people choosing the 60% clock. In order for the experiment
>> to work right, you have to find the tradeoff point where the cost
>> offsets the value, which is what the first part of Schwartz's
>> experiments do. Asking people to make a choice between unequal
>> choices
>> won't create the same discomfort as that shown in his experiements.
>>
>> Likewise, in an interface where all options are perceived as equally
>> valuable, people will have a hard time choosing which path to follow.
>> Hence you can make interfaces easier to use by removing options or
>> somehow increasing the value of the "right" option for a given
>> context.
>>
>>
>>
>> On 4/10/07, Morten Hjerde <mhjerde at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> On 4/9/07, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Joshua Porter just posted this article about Simplicity:
>>>> http://www.uie.com/articles/simplicity/
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> The article mentions an experiment that Barry Schwartz did (or
>>> refers to). I
>>> believe Barry Schwartz has some excellent points in his talks,
>>> but in my
>>> mind there is something deeply wrong in that experiment. Is it
>>> just me?
>>> Participants are asked to put a value on a car that has
>>> substandard safety.
>>> OK, people give it a monetary value. Then, people are asked if
>>> they prefer a
>>> safe and expensive car - or the not-so-safe car that they
>>> estimated a price
>>> on. Of course people are going to prefer the safe car.
>>> You can ask people to place a hypotetical value on a hypotetical
>>> car, but if
>>> you take it one step further and ask people to choose one of the
>>> cars, to
>>> commit - even if it is hypotetically - people will balk. Because
>>> safety and
>>> money are not on the same scale. Money may be on a linear scale,
>>> but safety
>>> is a plateau/level-thing. The experimenters seems to think that
>>> making
>>> people place a monetary value on an low quality (low safety) item
>>> would make
>>> people willing to choose it.
>>>
>>>
>>> We did an experiment in the office:
>>> Participants were told that Alarm Clock A costs $25 and ranks
>>> high in its
>>> ability to ring every morning (8 on a 10-point scale). Alarm
>>> Clock B ranks
>>> 6 in its ability to ring every morning. Participants were then
>>> asked how
>>> much Alarm Clock B would have to cost to be as attractive as
>>> Alarm Clock A.
>>> ...
>>> Even though their decision was purely hypothetical, participants
>>> experienced
>>> substantial negative emotion when choosing between Alarm Clock A
>>> and B. And
>>> if the experimental procedure gave them the opportunity, they
>>> refused to
>>> make the decision at all.
>>>
>>> This experimenter thinks that they went out and bought an Alarm
>>> Clock that
>>> would ring *every* morning.

Syndicate content Get the feed