Design Research

DRIII: In the room…

You’ve done some hard thinking to see whether design research is right for your project and spent some time preparing your design research team with the information that they’ll need to be successful. Now it’s time for the fun part: riding along with the team to hear from your prospective customers themselves! In this article, I capture some thoughts about what to expect from this process. This post will focus on the more practical aspects Read more…

Design Research

DR II: Preparing for Design Research

In my last post, I gave a quick introduction to design research. In this article, I’ll focus on what you can do as a business to prepare your team for the field. My next post gives some practical advice for the interview if you get to ride along with the research team! Design Research (DR) is an opportunity to step out and see the world  through the eyes of your customers or users. The open-ended nature of Read more…

Design Research

DR101: What is Design Research?

Your developers have been coding furiously for days working on the “Minimum Viable Product” perfectly tuned for the most lucrative market (according to the pricey quant study that just came back). When demo day comes you proudly show off the latest features – a marvel, to be certain; all of the bells and whistles the marketing brief said were popular blaze across the screen. But a single, terrifying question lingers silently in the back of everyone’s Read more…

Essays

Reflections on the Anchoring and Adjusting Heuristic

More than logic, humans base value assumptions on deviations from established norms. Stories are persuasive because they provide a platform for an artificial experience that can shift a person’s perception of “Normal.” I: What “Normal” is and why it is important Using logic to solve tough problems is one of the things that sets humans apart, and most of us are proud of a heritage that favors science, logic, and reason over superstition and narrow-mindedness. Read more…

Essays

Data vs Information

This morning I was doing some reflection on the difference between Data and Information (specifically thinking about the DIKW Pyramid).  While the distinction is inherently simple, I’ve always had a difficult time describing it, so here is what I came up with – Data is Objective, Information is Subjective Data is absolute, it is objective, and therefore, inert. Information is different.  Information is always made up of at least two data points, meaning two things: 1. Read more…

Book Notes

Books: The Origin of Wealth

At the advice of co-worker Hammans Stallings, the next book for 2014 is The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics and What It Means for Business and Society by Eric Beinhocker. Complex Adaptive Systems: The purpose of this book is to propel a shift from traditional economics methodologies to a focus on complexity and adaptive systems.  The first part of the book outlines the evolution of the field up to this point and Read more…

Book Notes

Book: The Power of Habit

The second book of 2014 is The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg.  In it, Duhigg deconstructs habits in a series of anecdotes and that help us understand what they are, how they form, how they change, and what the aggregate effects can be. The book is too long, and far too interesting, for me to outline every detail, but I highly suggest you pick it up Read more…

Book Notes

Books: Nudge III: A few more useful vocabulary words.

Now that I’ve finished Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, I want to add a few more ideas from the book to my list that I missed earlier, and then sum it up with a review. So, a few more important concepts: Mental Accounting:  Often times, we’ll allocate money in our heads even if it is in one big pile in reality.  I might have $100 in my pocket, but if I’ve already Read more…

Book Notes

Books: Nudge II

I’ve made it a little further in Nudge and would like to outline the authors’ rules for designing useable systems which they have, well, stretched, into the acronym NUDGE: Incentives: Provide Incentives for good decision making, even if they are small.  It is important to remember that the fundamentals of Economics still apply to behavioral economics, and that at the end of the day, supply and demand are important.  As Thaler and Sunstein put it, Read more…

Book Notes

Books: Nudge I

So, the first book of 2014 is Nudge, Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, by Richard H Thaler and Cass R Sunstein.  I picked it up because my new goal, here in a few years, is to go back to grad school for a degree in Economics and I’d like one of my main focuses to be Behavioral Economics. Sunstein and Thaler use Nudge to outline a term that (I believe) they coined called “Libertarian Read more…