Most helpful positive review
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Small and Thorough
on June 19, 2011
Stephen Anderson does an excellent job introducing the questions that we ask ourselves when we visit a website, open software, buy physical products, and gravitate toward certain people. The book's psychological approach to explaining the catalysts and triggers of human behavior is thorough and provides good examples of how to use those triggers to create a lasting and impressionable experiences. There are 25 chapters which are grouped into four sections...see section descriptions or skip to the bottom line.
Section one (Aesthetics, Beauty, and Behavior) covers topics like gestalt principles/psychology, perceived affordances, product credibility and personality, affect, cognition, and association. Anderson makes plenty of references to other quintessential UX books such as Designing with the Mind in Mind by Jeff Johnson, Visual Thinking for Design by Colin Ware, and Emotional Design by Donald Norman. Section two (Playful Seduction) covers ways to engage audiences with positive affective states such as humor, the mystique of unexpected behavior, and `delighters'. Anderson also uses specific phenomenon such as the information gap theory to explain alternate methods of eliminating the feeling of deprivation in users seeking information. Section three (The subtle Art of Seduction) covers some of the covert ways that our behavior is influenced by revealing topics such as the endowed progress effect, default options, and the many interfaces that offer suggestions such as Twitter's `Who to follow'. Topics such as loss aversion were clearly outlined and empowers users to be more aware of the influences we encounter while online. Section four (The Game of Seduction) takes a gamification approach to explaining the intrigue of certain user experiences. Anderson explains the power of `fun' by introducing the elements of game design (challenges, choices, and conflicts)
This book provided so many examples and references that even a proficient UX specialist would learn something new or easily be referred to other helpful sources of information. Rarely have I found so much information packed into such a short book. I highly recommend the book for newcomers to UX, but I also encourage experienced practitioners to grab a copy for reference.