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Leveraging Social Technologies for E-Commerce

Ecommerce & the Social Web- Why it matters and what you can do.

Geoff Boynton on Visual Attention – Part I

In this interview, Dr. Geoff Boynton from the University of Washington talks about the neural basis of visual attention. In the first segment, he outlines the changes in our understanding how attention modulates neural processing and some of his own experiments in this area.

Rajat Paharia on Influencing User Behaviour through Game Dynamics

Rajat talks about how designers can address fundamental human needs and desires (like status, achievement, reward, competition, self-expression) to make experiences both compelling and satisfying.

He talks about how game designers have known for years on how to incentivise and motivate players by addressing these needs through the use of mechanics like points, levels, leaderboards, virtual goods, challenges, and real-time feedback. He covers the migration of these mechanics out of the gaming world and into the world at large, including destination sites, devices, productivity applications, corporate intranets, and the professional networking platform, LinkedIn.

About Rajat Paharia

Rajat Paharia is the founder and Chief Product Officer of Bunchball. He created the world’s first gamification platform for brand engagement, Nitro, in 2007. Rajat’s skill set combines a unique expertise in technology, design and human behavior that he developed while working at the design firm IDEO, and through his masters in computer science with a focus on Human Computer Interaction (HCI) at Stanford university.

Bunchball’s clients include Fortune 500 companies like NBC, Warner Brothers, Comcast and Hewlett-Packard, who are helped with crafting gamification strategies that engage customers, partners and employees.

Related Links

Rajat Paharia on twitter: @rajatrocks
Bunchball website
Bunchball on twitter: @bunchball

The UX Bookmark- the best UX links for the smartest User Experience practitioners

I created the UX Bookmark a few years ago to separate the wheat from the chaff, here you will find only the best of articles, from journals, conferences and the web, that will help you evolve to being a more knowledgeable user experience practitioner.

From the feedback I have received, I could not be more glad in knowing how much it has helped many of you- at times when you have needed it most, or how you have used it to slowly build your knowledge in user experience or a particular area within it.

If you are a usability engineer, user researcher, human factors specialist, interaction designer or an information architect, then the UX Bookmark is a resource specially for you.

The UX Bookmark

Sheena Iyegnar on the Art of Choosing

One of the world’s leading experts on choice, Sheena Iyengar talks about fundamental differences in how the idea of choice differs across different countries and cultures. Citing various interesting examples from her research spanning a more than 15 years, she explains the assumptions which inform the American view of choice and how too much choice can impose constraints instead of opportunities.

About Sheena Iyengar

Sheena Iyengar is one of the world’s leading experts on choice. Iyengar’s research has been informing business and consumer-goods marketing since the 1990s. Her experiments have provided experiments have provided rich material for Malcolm Gladwell and other pop chroniclers of business and the human psyche.

Sheena teaches courses at the Columbia Business School to MBAs, Executive MBAs, and Executives, including courses at the World Economics Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. Her work is regularly cited in top news outlets such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and on National Public Radio.

Related Links

Sheena Iyengar’s website

Sheen Iyengar on Facebook

Sheena Iyengar on Twitter

The Art of Choosing (buy book from Flipkart) | The Art of Choosing (buy book from Amazon) | The Art of Choosing (buy audio book/ CD from Amazon)

Jesse Schell on Games Design Outside the Box

Did you know that there are more Farmville players than there are twitter accounts? In addition to a few quick facts, Jesse Schell talks about the new thinking that is being brought to game development by studying the success of some extremely popular online games. He talks about why Club Penguin, Mafia Wars, Web Kinz, Farmville and even the Wii are successful beyond expectation today.

He talks about the psychological aspect of why these games are so popular today, how these games manage to make so much money and about their retail models, which are different from the regular retail model.

He also talks about how games are being used by regular products are using games to their advantage. And finally he goes on to describing his vision of how games will be ubiquitous in the future.

About Jesse Schell

Jesse Schell runs a games studio called Schell Games. He also teaches at the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. In the past, he worked as creative director at the Disney Virtual Reality Studio. He is also author of the book, The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses.

Don Norman on the three ways that good design makes you happy

Don Norman talks about visceral, behavioral, and reflective design.

About Don A. Norman

Don Norman is the author of the classic The Design of Everyday Things, Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things and The Design of Future Things: Author of The Design of Everyday Things.

A PhD in Psychology, he is the co-founder of the usability consultancy Nielsen Norman Group, and was earlier Vice President of Research at Apple Computer, and head of Apple’s Advanced Technology Group (ATG), briefly renamed Apple Research Laboratories.

Other links

Donal Norman’s website: JND (just noticable difference)

Stephen Palmer on Aesthetic Science: Understanding Preferences for Color and Spatial Composition

Stephen Palmer, Professor of Psychology & Cognitive Science, University of California, Berkeley, reports results from three projects that investigate people’s aesthetic responses to spatial and color composition.

The results show that ‘aesthetic science’, a new and exciting topic within cognitive science, can help us increase our understanding on the nature of our appreciation of the visual world.

Barry Schwartz talks about “The Paradox of Choice- Why Less is More”

More choice doesn’t necessarily mean better options or greater satisfaction. In fact, Barry Schwartz would like to suggest the opposite. Schwartz, an American psychologist talks about the abundance of choice in modern society, and why less choice is better than more and choice paralysis. The Paradox of Choice is a phenomenon extensively researched by experts on choice, Sheena S. Iyengar and Mark R. Lepper, their analyses being cited frequently in the talk.

The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less is also the name of Schwartz’s book published in 2004 which popularized this phenomenon.

Talks by Vilayanur Ramachandran: A journey to the center of your mind & Art and the Brain

Vilayanur Ramachandran: A journey to the center of your mind

(Length: 24 minutes)

Vilayanur Ramachandran tells us what brain damage can reveal about the connection between celebral tissue and the mind, using three startling delusions as examples.

V.S. Ramachandran is the director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at the University of California, San Diego, and an adjunct professor at the Salk Institute. He is the author of ‘Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind
‘, the basis for a Nova special, ‘A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness: From Impostor Poodles to Purple Numbers
‘ and ‘The Man with the Phantom Twin: Adventures in the Neuroscience of the Human Brain‘.

Art and the Brain- Talk on synaesthesia, and art and the brain by V.S. Ramachandran

Length: 1 hour 10 minutes
Producer: Mind Science Foundation
Format: QuickTime Audio
Link: Audio recording