Categories
The Work Experience

Are the signs to tidy the kitchenette not working? Try adding eyes.

mind matters, mind, brain, eyes

Is your workplace kitchette perpetually untidy? Are there serial offenders who just won’t comply with the signs stuck up on the wall, on the bench, on the dishwasher? It seems to happen everywhere, and a colleague and I were laughing yesterday as we saw a bunch of dishes on a bench just beneath the instructions telling people:

DO NOT leave your dirty dishes in the kitchette, don’t be lazy. Take them to the main kitchen.”

I kid you not, the first two words are bold + all caps + underlined. It reminded me of a research study that found that pictures of eyes changed people’s littering behaviour, making them tidier.

A group of scientists at Newcastle University, headed by Melissa Bateson and Daniel Nettle of the Center for Behavior and Evolution, conducted a field experiment demonstrating that merely hanging up posters of staring human eyes is enough to significantly change people’s behavior. Over the course of 32 days, the scientists spent many hours recording customer’s “littering behavior” in their university’s main cafeteria, counting the number of people that cleaned up after themselves after they had finished their meals. In their study, the researchers determined the effect of the eyes on individual behavior by controlling for several conditions (e.g. posters with a corresponding verbal text, without any text, male versus female faces, posters of something unrelated like flowers, etc). The posters were hung at eye-level and every day the location of each poster was randomly determined. The researchers found that during periods when the posters of eyes, instead of flowers, overlooked the diners, twice as many people cleaned up after themselves.

So perphaps try adding pictures of eyes to your kitchette signs. To read more about the mechanics of “Neural architecture” and “Gaze detection” and to read about how the studies were designed and conducted go to http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-the-illusion-of-being-observed-can-make-you-better-person

This study is also quoted in Quick and Dirty Tips which has a few more suggestions for office tidiness. Not sure if I agree with all of them (do grown ups need candy rewards?) but sometimes you just gotta try something.

Categories
Design Research

Design research #1: Recording field research

I have a BUNCH of notes from books and articles I have read on design research. I had reason to revisit them all recently when I was writing a training course and thought to share them as a set of reference tools for others, you dear reader, and as a memory boost for me on our next field trip.

The first cab off the rank is about tools for recording your enquiry or research session. Just click the image to see it full size. Are there any I have missed?

Let me know how/if you find this useful at all. The next one will be about data, or what to consider as useful information to capture. This series will not necessarily be in any proper order yet, but I’ll make a start here and see where I end up.

The tools to use to record your observations on your next field trip or research session.
The tools to use to record your observations on your next field trip or research session.
Categories
The Work Experience

Why Perks Aren’t Company Culture

“When you start developing a product or a company you never know if it’s going to work or what’s going to work. But you do know what you want to do and how you want to do it. So do that. And when (not if) that doesn’t work, do something different and try again. Repeat until something good happens. Then, and only then, should you look back and consider what you did that worked and find ways to reinforce that behavior.”

Read on over at Inc for the full opinion piece: http://www.inc.com/steve-tobak/why-perks-arent-company-culture.html or go to TechCrunch for the article that inspired it: http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/17/programming-your-culture/