Archives for November 2014

November 14, 2014 - No Comments!

The UX of Mobile Settings

By Luis F. Mena.

We love to analyze and write/read about good UX. It's common practice to pick an app, redesign a few screens without any constrains and then share the result in Dribbble. However, more often than not, business requirements in real projects and client's platform-constrains tend to be so complex that you end up struggling to come up with an intuitive interface.

Maybe that's why not many articles out there talk about complex projects like real dashboards for Business Intelligence, or platforms' settings that display a big set of nested options. This might not be as complicated as that, but I wanted to take a moment to compare the difference in experiences among Apple, Google and Microsoft device settings.

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November 10, 2014 - No Comments!

The psychology of discounting

"When retailers want to entice customers to buy a particular product, they typically offer it at a discount. According to a new study to be published in the Journal of Marketing, they are missing a trick.

A team of researchers, led by Akshay Rao of the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, looked at consumers' attitudes to discounting. Shoppers, they found, much prefer getting something extra free to getting something cheaper. The main reason is that most people are useless at fractions.

Consumers often struggle to realise, for example, that a 50% increase in quantity is the same as a 33% discount in price. They overwhelmingly assume the former is better value. In an experiment, the researchers sold 73% more hand lotion when it was offered in a bonus pack than when it carried an equivalent discount (even after all other effects, such as a desire to stockpile, were controlled for).

This numerical blind spot remains even when the deal clearly favours the discounted product. In another experiment, this time on his undergraduates, Mr Rao offered two deals on loose coffee beans: 33% extra free or 33% off the price. The discount is by far the better proposition, but the supposedly clever students viewed them as equivalent.

Studies have shown other ways in which retailers can exploit consumers' innumeracy. One is to befuddle them with double discounting. People are more likely to see a bargain in a product that has been reduced by 20%, and then by an additional 25%, than one which has been subject to an equivalent, one-off, 40% reduction.

Marketing types can draw lessons beyond just pricing, says Mr Rao. When advertising a new car's efficiency, for example, it is more convincing to talk about the number of extra miles per gallon it does, rather than the equivalent percentage fall in fuel consumption.

There may be lessons for regulators too. Even well-educated shoppers are easily foxed. Sending everyone back to school for maths refresher-courses seems out of the question. But more prominently displayed unit prices in shops and advertisements would be a great help."

November 10, 2014 - No Comments!

Innumeracy: How Your Pricing Strategy can take Advantage of Mathematical Ignorance by Miranda Steinway

"Essentially, consumers would rather “buy one month and get the next free” than “receive 50% off [their] first month."

"The team exposed this incompetence through a series of studies that asked consumers which deal they would prefer: a 50% increase in quantity or a 33% discount in price. The secret: they’re both the same offering. Despite their mathematical equivalence, they found consumers overwhelmingly assume the quantity increase is a better value. What’s even more interesting is that the results stayed true even when the discounted product was blatantly a better deal."