Monday, 29 March 2010

Glasgow's School Meals - Fuel Zone

Initiative in Glasgow pre-dates Jamie's School Dinners and involves tempting kids to try healthier food.
  • Canteens refurbished to look more like fast food outlets
  • Cashless sytem increases free school meal uptake, as it hides who is getting free meals and so reduces stigma
  • Points system for healthy eating - get an iPod for eating well!
Best article found after a quick Google:

Monday, 22 March 2010

Experimentation & Testing

Useful post on different types of testing on the web.

- A/B testing
- Multi-variate testing
- 'Experiential' testing (didn't really understand this)

Monday, 15 March 2010

Testing: give away cheapest products and boost sales of premium one

A software company found in testing that giving aware their cheapest product actually increased sales of their premium product.


Just came across this US electronics store. Seems to try to differentiate through good advice, even on the web. They have photos and bios of all their advisors on the site - must be good for both morale and sales.

Seems from this screenshot that their tagline used to be "34 years of helping people choose, use and enjoy electronics", but they now use something blander.

Expedia - testing 'Vacations' and 'Packaging'

At Expedia back in the day, when packages launched, we tried a tab that said "Packages", one that said "Vacations" and one that said "Vacation Packages" - the latter increased BOOKINGs ~30%.

This if from a guy named Steven Brewer who some Googling shows used to be Software Design Engineer at Expedia, not sure when.

From a comment here: (see other post)

Save - an historical oddity

Just found an article supporting my long-held view that the 'Save' button will soon be a thing of the past.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Implicit vs Explicit Communication

All comms have both an explicit and implicit component.

Explicit: your words, diagrams etc

Implicit: overarching visual style, contradiction to previous messages, who the message is from etc. People are much less inclined to consciously analyse implicit messages.

Often there is a contradiction between the implicit and explicit messages.

There is also a parralel in rational and emotional sides to communication.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The Carphone Warehouse's Values

The Carphone Warehouse have an eminently sensible list of '5 Five Fundamental Rules':

  • If we don't look after the customer, someone else will.
  • Nothing is gained by winning an argument but losing a customer.
  • Always deliver what we promise. If in doubt, under promise and over deliver.
  • Always treat customers as we ourselves would like to be treated.
  • The reputation of the whole company is in the hands of each individual.

To that they just add passion and fun.

Source: Carphone Warehouse careers site

Friday, 5 March 2010

Behavioural Communication

5 key questions to answer in communications:

• How is this relevant to what I do?
• What, specifically, should I do?
• What does success look like? (What does failure look like?) [Better question: how and when will we know if we've succeeded?]
• What tools and support are available?
• WIIFM — What’s in it for me? And for us?

Since 1994, tested with over 300,000 people in 17 countries

Source: Bill Jensen,

Monday, 1 March 2010

Zappos' Interview Question

On a scale of one to 10, how lucky are you — and why?

The question is based on research by psychologist Richard Wiseman, who explored psychological differences between people who consider themselves exceptionally lucky and those who consider themselves unlucky.

His work revealed that people are not born lucky, but, without realizing it, use four basic principles to create good fortune in their lives:

  • Have an attitude that maximizes chance opportunities;
  • Be in touch with and cultivate their intuition;
  • Expect good fortunes, which become self-fulfilling prophecies; and
  • Thrive on bad fortune by taking control and creating positive outcomes.

According to Wiseman’s Web site, he’s developed techniques that help people increase their good fortune by thinking and behaving more like lucky people.

Source: AttentionMax blog