Posts tagged “persuade”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Autom, a weight-loss robot coach – Autom's human qualities, if primitive, were an important factor in keeping 15 dieters motivated during a trial in the Boston area. Another 15 slimmers were given a computer with a touch screen running identical software to Autom's and 15 had a paper log. Each had to stick to a certain eating and exercise regime. The average time someone used the robot — almost 51 days — was nearly twice as long as with paper — almost 27 days — and 40 percent longer than with the computer. "Even if you have an animated character that looks exactly like Autom on the computer screen, you cannot have the same interaction as you can with an actual robot," Kidd says. Kidd says the fact that people were able to humanise Autom made the information it gave them seem more credible. Maya, Casper and Robbie were among the names users gave their robots. Some even dressed them in hats and scarves.
  • We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat [CBC News] – Companies working off Nova Scotia's coasts have been told to supersize their lifeboats to accommodate bigger workers. The current standard for lifeboats is based on a person weighing 165 pounds in a survival suit. The proposed standard is 220 pounds. "The reality is such that the workforce is considerably larger nowadays," said Dave Scratch, the regulator's chief safety officer. A lifeboat may be rated for 50 people, but that doesn't mean they all fit. "We've had a number of [exercises and drills] where they actually wouldn't. We found that most lifeboats had to be downsized just because people were larger and wouldn't fit in the allocated locations," said Scratch. The board is following the lead of the U.K., which adjusted safety regulations after a study found offshore workers are heavier now than 20 years ago.

I wanna push you around, well I will, I will

Recently, Rob Walker posted about Wal-Mart greenly pushing the the single-bulb-fluorescent (from the NYT) while Mike Wagner posted about how to help the Des Moines Kiwanis Club grow. The substance of the NYT piece and the response to the Wagner entry typify something that is increasingly surprising to me (but maybe shouldn’t be). People (at least in the corners of the blogosphere that I hang in) want to sell ideas. They want to persuade, influence, advertise, manipulate. I sometimes feel a lone voice in asking for i) a user-centered view of what the product or service could evolve to and ii) innovation and development to fix the problems in the product or service.

It’s easier to talk about how to push the idea out there, it seems.

Wal-Mart is working to get these bulbs adopted. But they know what people don’t like about the bulbs. How’s about working on that? I mean, jeez, you already know what the problem is! That seems like an easy one. And the suggestions for the Kiwanis group are strongly focused on how to attract members, without anyone trying to understand what (just to take one of many questions they need to be asking) the current members love about their experience with the organization. No doubt there’s a mismatch between what story is being told to prospective members and what story is desired by those prospective members, as another angle. But no, let’s just focus on how to shout about the existing story.

Push, push.


About Steve