Thinking

  • Placebo Design.
  • Did you know that cyclists perform athletically better when they are ‘told’ they have taken a caffeine enhancement over when they actually do take a caffeine enhancement (Beedie et al, 2006). Also, people who thought they were drinking Vodka all night performed significantly worse on tests of memory – even though they were actually only drinking plain tonic water (Garry, 2003). [...]

  • Experiment results.
  • If you’re a regular visitor to ¡Design Thinkers! you might remember that last winter we launched a small experiment and asked you to take a short survey to help (you can see the original article here). The idea behind this was to conduct an informal (and not very robust) experiment on the effect packaging design has on perceived effectiveness of certain medical products. [...]

  • Techniques

  • #5 – Collecting.
  • If you grew up in the UK you may remember Panini sticker albums that encouraged kids to collect stickers of their favourite soccer players (I believe in the US the equivalent would be baseball cards). As you collected you filled up your album and traded cards with your friends in the struggle to complete the full album. [...]

  • Video

  • Inbox Zero.
  • How do you manage your emails? In this video from Google Tech Talks, Merlin Mann talks about why it’s crucial for our productivity that we have a system for managing our emails. [...]

  • Tools

  • A better inbox.
  • Whilst sat with a client recently I noticed the little red badge on her emails said she had over 2,350 unread messages. When asked, she remarked that most are spam and now there are just too many to deal with. Sound familiar? [...]

Library

  • Positive Linking.
  • by Paul Ormerod

    If you’ve read ‘Nudge’ and thought “yeah, I get it but I don’t think behavioural economics is going to save the world on its own” – then this might fill in a few of the gaps for you. Paul Ormerod is far from opposed to nudge theory and how we can be positively influenced by incentives, but he does feel that it’s far more powerful when you combine nudge with network theory. [...]

  • Our Superheroes, Ourselves.
  • Edited by Robin S. Rosenberg

    Have you noticed there are quite a few superhero films out these days? If you’re a thinking type (and surely you are as why are you here otherwise), then maybe you wondered what it is about superheroes that attracts people and why now in particular. [...]

  • The Wiki Man.
  • By Rory Sutherland.

    If you’ve read any of the previous ¡Design Thinkers! issues or any blog that talks around behavioural economics then you’ll have come across Rory Sutherland. Rory is Vice Chairman of Ogilvy Mather and is the self-titled impresario of behavioural economics and this book is a collection of his thoughts and opinions. [...]

  • Moonwalking with Einstein.
  • by Joshua Foer.

    I picked this up as the cover sang out at me from the table at Waterstone’s (I’m still keeping the apostrophe). Jonah Lehrer adorns the back cover with his quote ‘If you want to understand how we remember, and how we can all learn to remember better, then read this book.’ [...]

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