Psychology of the User Experience

Right after SXSW Interactive, I promised a comprehensive recap, and I have a confession to make – this  Word document has been sitting here in blog post purgatory for over a week (literally!) now, because I’ve realized that: A) I’m not an authority on this event, since it was my first time going, B) there are tons of great posts out there recapping the event as a whole (check out see Omar Gallaga, Jay Baer, and Chris Brogan’s helpful and thoughtful posts), and C) while SXSW was incredibly valuable to me overall for reasons I mentioned in the previous short post, there are only a few things that I took away as total “a ha!” moments in terms of bringing new ideas and practices to Ketner Group and our clients. One of those was definitely Brian Solis’ session on How Your Brand Can Succeed in the New Web, but I’d much rather speak about that after I’ve read his new book, Engage! – and how handy that I asked a question during the Q&A portion of the talk and scored a crisp hardback copy! Be on the lookout for my review on that book soon.

For now, I’d like to dedicate this post to the other session I felt most interesting and pertinent to the work we do here at KG, Stephen Anderson’s talk on the Art & Science of Seductive Interactions – basically, how we can apply the principles of human psychology to creating a better User Experience (which can apply to developing products, websites, etc.)  I love the study of psychology, and in fact I also recently discovered a great lecture series on the Mind & Brain from the University of Arizona available for free download from iTunes U – I highly recommend checking that out. Anyway, Stephen Anderson’s main point in his SXSW panel was that, when we are creating something for other people, we need to get back to the basics. What makes successful experiments, products, and campaigns work? Generally, at the root of it is human psychology. Are you building your product or website or campaign by starting with a basic assessment of what you want people to do and how you can incent them to do so?

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