BJ Fogg at WebVisions 2005

15 July, 2005

Why Simplicity Matters (and Why It's So Difficult to Achieve)
Drive to Sea World got in a major car crash
-louder and more physical than you expect
-happens quickly and slowly
-first thought: cmd-z
->digital tools we use change us: cmd-z became an instinct
->ex: ballerina's toe shoes deform their feet: tools deform us
-Past: Leaders/Royals established rituals
-Present: first adopters first enounter new tech: establish rituals, culture
Persuasive Technology:
-originally, we thought people adapt their behaviour through using the computer:
-now, we see that Computers can "manipulate" people
Fire Metaphor:
-power vs. torture
-enabling new tasks vs. having to spend our lives maintaining tech
"the digital products we create will determine the future of this planet"
Bongo Get Nagged by His Computer
-Bongo (monkey doll) want to check the weather
-has to run updates
-interrupts to tells him he has a message (spam)
-tells him he has to backup
-tells him he has to check for viruses
-finally gets weather
-weather website offers to make itself his homepage
Frustration in the context of Bongo
-feeling of something being harder than it should be
-feeling of benefit being lower than expected
-causes: resentment and sense of powerlessness
-meets expectations
-unexpected ease
-unexpected benefit
-sense of growing competency (video games)
Why to design for simplicity:
-we're lazy (cognitive misers)
-we have limited abilities (40% of american adults are illiterate or semi-literate)
-we're busy (opportunity cost)
-it sells (consumer goods are way ahead: solve concrete problem in a simple effective way)
-inclusivity (low barriers to entry)
-get out of the way (let them do what they actually want ot do)
-no one else is doing it
What brings costs of doing a task down:
-entertainment value of process
Why is it hard to design for simplicty?
Handstand vs. Handwalk
-stand is easier to view (changes less)
-walk is easier to do (can balance by making small adjustments)
"easy to use is harder to make"
Tvoli Alarm clock
-on the box over in real life:
-larger difference between hour and minute hand
-larger size of clock face
"Simplicity is brittle"
Cost and Benefit equations are different for each person
-benefit: people want different things
-cost: people have different limited resources: time, monet, congnitive bandwidth
Techniques for designing for simplicity:
-boil abstract questions down to concrete ones
-watch real life users
-how do you get inside someone else's head
-->shorcut: make something for which you are the target user
-don't add features without supporting data
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