Recent Articles

Choice

by Scott

I LOVE trying new things and am addicted to the upside that accompanies the unknown. But when faced with too many choices, my adventurous aspirations relinquish and I find myself retreating to familiarity. I noticed this multiple instances over the past week:

Dinner at Gracefully – The market at my house has 30+ different sandwich options. I looked at the menu chock full of interesting combinations for 5 minutes and ended up ordering a boring italian hoagie.

Restaurant Recommendation App – This app recommended 10 places to eat dinner in East Village. After looking at each one, I ended up going to someplace I’ve been before that wasn’t even recommended by the app.

Why does this happen?

My mindset as a consumer …
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The Elusiveness of Virtual Currency

by Scott

I just booked a flight with points and it reminded me how virtual currency can alter our feelings and decision making. Whether we’re talking about a rewards program or monetary exchange, separating the currency from a dollar value can be a powerful framing tactic.

When multiple units of virtual currency are assigned to a single dollar it can inflate the amount of value we perceive. Getting 100 points for every dollar spent seems better than 10 points even if they possess the same purchasing power. This phenomenon is the crux of why virtual currency alters our spending behavior.

 

Here’s a few behavior changes I’ve noticed when I’m dealing with points instead of dollars:

Allocation

The inflated perception virtual currency inspires can change spending allocation. …
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Product Design: The Inevitability of Noise

by Scott

My biggest problem with my Facebook newsfeed has always been that so much of the content is irrelevant. This is mainly due to the fact that many people I’m friends with I’ve only met once or haven’t seen in a long time. So I acknowledge that the noise is somewhat my own fault.
 
I made a friend request the other day on Facebook and was presented with an option I hadn’t seen before. I took a picture of it below:

 

If you haven’t noticed, Facebook implemented a smart lists feature. Now each time I make a friend request, it prompts me to assign new friends to one of these lists.
 
I started thinking about it and realized that the more engaged I …
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