Archive for 2009/08/25

What controls your decisions?

2009/08/25 2 comments

Dan Ariely with his research makes me wonder a lot about the rationality of decisions. To be frank, he’s made me think that there is nothing like a rational decision.


Look at these offerings from The Economist. This is an offering Dan found a couple of years ago, and of course the middle options doesn’t seem to be a well thought idea. Now, The Economist made this add by mistake, but it might not be as stupid as one thinks, especially when the offering is made to people, trying to be rational.


Dan asked a number of people what they would choose and what he found was that when people were given these options, non chose the middle option, 84% took the last alternative and 16% took the first option.

But here comes the strangeness of the human mind. If a group was presented just the first and the last option, the third option just attracted 32% while 68% chose the first option. You exclude an option that no one wants and that change how people view the offerings differently.

This should have huge implications on usability. I guess we all know that people are not rational, but remembering that when you specify the alternatives of that dialog box is sometimes not easy. Do listen to the whole presentation and you’ll hear the full story. And thanks to Dan Ariely for again pulling away the blindfolds.

Categories: Business, Usability


2009/08/25 1 comment

Is not a year (well, it’s of course a year, but I don’t refer to that here) but a loosely coupled network of Swedish women somehow engaged in software development and who have a special interest in agile and lean values and leadership.

Yesterday evening was spent in their wonderful company. I seldom like groups or networks aiming at a physical criteria, but sometimes those can give you special experiences and questions. By keeping this as a quite small group but with very different perspectives, I hope and believe that we can all learn and teach something.

We’ve now formed a LinkedIn group, where we’ll discuss issues between our meetings, which I hope will be once a month.

Thanks, Ulrika Park, for inviting me, and thanks Sara Manding with Valtech as the evening’s sponsor. And thank to 1715 for a wonderful evening.

Categories: Agile, Leadership, lean