One of my favorite parts of my job is interviewing a huge variety of people about their habits, needs, attitudes, and reactions to designs. I like the challenge of quickly getting strangers to talk freely and frankly about themselves, and to try figuring out new designs and products in front of me. User research shouldn’t be like the boring market surveys they read from clipboards in the mall. Great research interviews should be like listening to Terry Gross on Fresh Air — engaging and insightful. That’s what I aim for. Here are some tips and techniques that have helped me get the most out of user interviews.
Components of High-Quality Blog Posts
Creating a Powerful Introduction
In order to engage readers from the start, you have to begin with an attractive abstract that succinctly encapsulates the subject of the blog post. This introduction should be short and concise — try keeping it within 3-5 sentences. After reading your introductory paragraph, readers should immediately know what they will be in for.
Think of your introduction as a sales pitch. Let the potential reader know why he or she should read the rest of the post by stimulating their curiosity and outlining the value they will obtain should they read the post.
This introduction can also be useful for developing things such as post excerpts, metadata, descriptions for submitting to social news portals and so forth.
Using Research and Secondary Sources
A blog post should always have sound and accurate information. It’s best to support ideas and arguments with secondary resources, quotes, and research studies. Linking to relevant sources reinforces the things you say in your own blog posts and gives the reader greater context about the items you’re discussing.
re your customers in a concrete or abstract mindset as they think about purchasing your product? The answer can affect how much they buy.
Every day consumers make purchase decisions by choosing among large sets of related products available for sale in the aisles of stores. What factors might systematically affect how consumers make decisions among an array of products? Our research explores one aspect of that question.
As most marketers realize, not all shoppers are created equal. Within the same store, one may be searching for a specific product to meet an immediate need, while others may simply be browsing. Just as they can have different goals when they enter a store, individual consumers may approach purchase decisions with different mindsets that can affect how they shop. In social psychology, a mindset is defined as a set of cognitive processes and judgmental criteria that, once activated, can carry over to unrelated tasks and decisions. In other words, if you get a consumer thinking a certain way, that way of thinking — that mindset — can influence his or her subsequent shopping behavior.
In particular, social psychologists have identified two distinct mindsets that are relevant to how consumers make decisions when choosing among large sets of related products: abstract and concrete. An abstract mindset encourages people to think in a more broad and general way. Consumers in an abstract mindset who face an array of related products will focus more on the shared product attributes associated with an overarching purpose — for example, the general category of hair care or car maintenance. Conversely, a concrete mindset draws attention to lower-level details and attributes associated with execution or usage; consumers in a concrete mindset will thus focus on factors that differentiate between products.
Working shorter hours did not necessarily lead to happiness, but working a lot more or less than they wanted made people very unhappy.
“It appears that prioritising success and material goals is actually harmful to life satisfaction,” Professor Headey wrote in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Partner choice played a big role. Women were less happy if their partner did not prioritise family goals than if they had no partner, and people with a neurotic partner were far less happy over time. They never got used to their partner’s negative emotions, either – even after 20 years of marriage there was no decline in the effects on their happiness.
Doing exercise and being a healthy weight were beneficial, and obesity was strongly linked to unhappiness, particularly for women.
Professor Headey did not know why many people continued to prioritise goals which did not seem to make them happy. “I think people don’t often sit down and think about what really makes them happy, and then try to do more of that.”