BCS Talk—Empathy as the defining driver for good ux

dug // 16 May 2014

Panorama shot of BCS talk by Vinny Singh

Did a talk last night at the BCS about what makes a great user experience. High point of the evening, I showed my mental notes cards and did an experiment with the audience to illustrate anchoring & adjustment. I hosted a mock auction where the audience had to write bids on a card (with the premise like an Antiques Roadshow thing where you had to guess the price).

The result was amazing. In a room with aprox 60 people…

  • 22 cards were filled in
  • 2 participants ignored the anchors entirely
  • 3 participants may not have been influenced
  • 17 users were clearly anchored

So this was done with bits of cardboard and in a bit of hurry but still, 77% still feels like a statistically significant sample.

The anchor itself was a number on the back of the card. The audience was told this was a random number from 0 to 100 which was to be used as a tie breaker at the end of the exercise. Before the start of the auction, the participants were asked to write this number in the “tie breaker” box on the front of the card. I wasn’t sure that simply copying the number from one side to the other would have the anchoring impact but it clearly did.

I’m going to try and do the same for all the other cards now:-)