A common thing in my world of behavior change and design is a focus on building empathy by talking to people, sharing their perspectives, and living in their worlds. We talk about not designing for but rather with people, and empathy is required to do that. The truth is that even our best tools don’t really let us inhabit others’ lives. We can gain an understanding and emotional connection, but it’s not quite the real thing of experiencing what they experience. Continue reading When You Don’t Speak the Language, Literally: My Experience with the Japanese Health Care System and Radical Empathy
In my years of frequent travel, I’ve learned that nothing comes cheap in an airport. A bottle of water that normally costs $1 in a supermarket or convenience store suddenly sells for $4. Which is why I was did a double take when I saw this water display in the Dublin airport: Continue reading Plane Water and the Honesty Box: An Unexpected Airport Kindness
I visited Ireland for the first time a few weeks ago and was utterly charmed by it. Not only is the country geographically lovely and jam-packed with delightful restaurants, pubs, and shops, but I appreciated what I’d call the Irish attitude. In general, the people were outgoing, interested in conversation, and above all, approached topics with a sense of humor. (And yes, I know this is a blanket stereotype and I am sure there are surly Irish introverts out there, but the people I met weren’t those.) Continue reading Retail Reframing: Adjusting Future Timeframes to Boost Sales
I have chalked up a lot of travel miles in my time, and consider myself an expert at navigating an airport. Experience has taught me how to decipher almost any boarding pass, no matter how opaquely designed. That said, I still sometimes struggle with figuring out exactly where to go for a flight, and I know less experienced travelers do. I can’t say how many times have I seen people (usually very elderly or clearly foreign travelers) try to get through security with an itinerary instead of a boarding pass. On the plane, people struggle to accurately identify which seat is theirs (this has even happened to me, recently, to my great shame). Continue reading How UX and Design Can Improve Flying
When I travel to a new place, I usually try to equip myself with a few basic vocabulary words: Hello, goodbye, please, thank you, English. I’ll try to begin encounters with a greeting in the local language, and say thank you and farewell in that language too. If you can phonetically pronounce menu items, you may even be able to completely transact a restaurant order with just this bare bones vocabulary. Continue reading Politeness Without a Please: Denmark’s Missing Word
While I was on vacation recently, I set a post to publish about infusing fun into social good to make people more likely to participate. Whether it was my being more aware of examples having recently written about the idea, or a growing use of gamification to prompt prosocial behavior, I was delighted to see another fun example of how game elements can help people help others: Continue reading Case Study: Making Social Change Fun
Hi, I’m Amy and I have a problem. I love to shop online and I especially love getting a great deal. I attribute it to evolutionary psychology: Instead of going out into the savanna to kill my dinner, I go online to hunt bargain buys.
If you’re like me and love to shop online, then you want ways to get the best possible price. Here are some of my best tips. Continue reading The Online Hunter-Gatherer: Find Big Shopping Savings with These Tips
I may have mentioned a recent work trip to Portland, OR. Well, even on the road, a girl’s gotta eat, and part of the joy I take in work travel is finding local gems to try. With that in mind, my colleague and I hit up Deschutes Brewery in the Pearl District for dinner.
I was exceptionally pleased with both the beer and food at Deschutes. The food was interesting, upscale pub food. Continue reading Brewery Recommendation: Deschutes, Portland OR
Last week I was in Portland, Oregon for work. The weather was about 45 degrees–a temperature that usually signals the onset of winter for me. Yet, after being pummeled by multiple snowstorms and near-zero temperatures in Boston, I couldn’t get enough of the “warm” Portland air.
I went for two outdoor runs–without gloves or a headband. When the first 45 degree days roll around in Boston, I at least debate pulling out the winter gear. Not this time. Continue reading Blizzards and Happiness: Hedonic Adaptation
- Convenient navigation (e.g. not having to go through security multiple times to change planes if you have a connection, not having to take one or more trams to find your gate)
- Well-organized security lines; it’s ok if the lines are long sometimes if there is a good system to move people through
- Good concessions, especially ones that sell alcohol for the inevitable delay
- Clean bathrooms, enough of them for the number of passengers generally flying through the airport
- Ease of accessing ground transportation, including rental cars
- Reasonably updated decor–it doesn’t have to look like a W Hotel, but it also shouldn’t have carpets older than I am
- Amenities like plentiful outlets for charging devices and comfortable seats