Forget the politicians, arms and think-tanks filled with pundits when it comes to peace or war in the world. Grab your computer and log in on Facebook or any of the many other social networks, which blooms at the moment. It is here, from ordinary people’s digital togetherness that any “trend” will come.
The psychology behind the design of web pages makes you act in ways you had not anticipated. You will be trained to do certain things of a site like Facebook.
“You are part of a social context on the website, where there are norms you must follow in order not to feel like an outsider. Therefore, you will implement a portrait of yourself on your profile, though you might secretly not feel like it. If you do not put a picture of yourself, you will see a big question mark in the profile field. A small but powerful detail, which gives the site an educational effect.
On a ten-week course on facebook’s possibilities succeeded
students at Stanford University to attract 16 million users of Facebook on the project called: ‘to bring peace to the world’. One group used the pet as a focal point for people to feel more cohesive, another group worked with the network by offering shelter to overnight guests.
The course developed the philosophy: Make a quick idea and try it out via facebook. In this way students reached far with only a few people working active on facebook in relation to various topics like peace or war.
Photos are much stronger than words..
The use of images and video has the greatest impact and I have even experimented with this – an old but still powerful and conservative design, that facebook has been successful to implement right from the start,
“To get 16 million people in the speech” within ten weeks – without spending money on it – on topics related to human social interaction is more than many had imagined – perhaps an indication of the magical force the facebook design has managed to attract the world’s population……. but also food for thought.!
‘Persuasive design” means in practice, that we as users of the
network are brought up, and sometimes manipulated around on different websites. A knowledge, which is telling us, that we the humans are incredibly lazy. So, simplicity, clarity and preferably as few clicks as possible is the way forward.
There are many different classes of persuasive design. One of them could be called the manipulative edition – or tunnel series. Slowly but surely, the user is lured into a hopper from which there is no going back. You will be dragged through the site and usually end up paying with your VISA or other card at the end. The only way to escape is almost turning off the power.
Another and more intelligent persuasive design is “amazon.com” – a good example. On this big platform of bookstore, the user feels of having a say in things. The website offers qualified suggested alternatives – other books that you did not know you needed. A discreet and efficient way of service, but it works,
If a design should work perfectly on the internet, it must be targeted, but never too clear what the intent is. It is a topic the social portals already know a lot about, such as Facebook. The number of friends does not take up a lot on Facebook’s strategy, but a lot of awareness among users – and it is one of the factors that cause people to linger inside facebook without more deep thoughts on the consequences of this “invisible control” of people’s conscious and unconscious thoughts.Kurt Lykke Lindved has previously been Head of Development and Marketing in the multinational company EAC trade and shipping worldwide.