I Need Your Help...


I’m working on a new project..

It’s basically a new kind of vehicle.

Think a bicycle but instead of pedaling with your legs you do that by twisting ur torso and instead of steering with your arms you use your nose.

You’re probably thinking I’m an idiot. (Probably true.)

When we design physical products, we have no problem designing it for the way we’ve evolved.

We didn’t get legs so we could pedal bikes. We didn’t get arms to steer.

Yet we make our products work for humans the way they are.

Then why do we refuse to do the same thing in psychology?

Why do we insist on creating products for this mythical, completely rational person?

People did not evolve to be rational.

(Which is why science is so hard and it takes ab 1–3 decades before you can make a contribution.)

We evolved to stay alive long enough to reproduce, which means we developed a ton of biases and heuristics that, while helpful for survival, distort reality.

You can’t ‘logic’ someone into falling in love with you..

I think all guys can relate to having an argument with a girl where you were completely, unequivocally right.. yet you still lost the argument by some dark voodoo, word manipulation that girls have mastered and you end up scratching your head like, how did this just happen?!

(Quick side note: 1. Generally, she’s always right. 2. If she’s not.. refer to point 1.)

So even though it may feel unscientific or new-agey.. it’s necessary to design products based on the psychological biases and heuristics people use to make decisions.

Because people tend to make decisions and then use their prefrontal cortex to rationalize them AFTER the fact.

Almost all of our decisions making tools are hundreds of thousands of years old.

It’s how the brain works.

So use it to your advantage, create products for the brains of real humans.

Improve the subjective experience of your product.

Think about how the price impacts the perception (do people think you’re worse because your cheap, dropping sales?)

Remove features rather than adding them to make the cognitive load of your product lower (easier to understand).

And so on..

I learned from Rory Sutherland that originally the engineers at Sony added recording functionality to the walkman MVP because they could add that at a near zero cost.

The PM told them to remove that feature. Because he knew people would understand a device that simply played music.

However, a device that can play and record.. what’s that? Is it a dictaphone that plays music?

A music player that records?

Do you bring it into a board room or an important interview? Or is it a gadget for hipsters while running?

Economic thinking suggests that giving more (features) for less (money) is a slam dunk.

But you now know better. That fictional creature doesn’t exist.

Design for real human psychology.

Don’t build that nose steered bike.

RJ Youngling