Have you ever walked out of a supermarket with a packet of Tim Tams in your shopping basket and wondered how that ended up in there? Then later you remember that you’d walked past a bus stop ad on the way to the shops that had advertised that very product. Advertising works, who can believe it? But specifically what’s happened here is that by looking at that ad, you had been primed to purchase that product in the supermarket.

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A couple of weeks ago I ended my career in insurance after 4.5 years working for Australia’s largest general insurer. Before working in insurance, I knew very little about the industry and what products were available. I knew that everyone had home and car insurance, but I didn’t have either of those assets so I wasn’t really interested.

Fast forward to today and looking back on what I’ve absorbed over the years, I’ve learned that insurance is an industry of riddles and paradoxes. …

Vaccination is the hot topic of 2021, as the world looks to escape the grip of COVID-19 and its various tentacle-like strains. Unfortunately, it’s been a rocky road thus far, not the least because of vaccine supply issues but also due to somewhat of a drug image problem.

I’m sure we’d like to think that we are generally rational people and that we make the best decisions based on the wealth of information provided to us. In reality, the way we often make our resolutions is biased and based on incomplete information.

The framing of vaccine efficacy

Imagine if I told you that there were…

Pssst… I’ve got a secret for you…

You know that webpage full of beautifully crafted linguistic genius that you spent weeks creating? People aren’t reading it.

How do I know? Eye-tracking studies.

One particular study estimated that people only read about 28% of the text on a page. But we don’t need official study results to teach us this. In fact, we need not look any further than ourselves and our own behaviour. You and I don’t read all web content word for word and I’m also predicting that you won’t read every word of this article either. …

For two years I conducted walking tours around the central business district of Melbourne. I tramped a regular route through Melbourne’s grand boulevards and artistic laneways, relating stories to my guests and imparting local knowledge.

Last week I wrote about my experience and using the Airbnb Experiences platform.

While COVID-19 and other factors mean that I no longer run this tour, I have decided to bring the tour to you! This article works best if you open it on your phone while you’re walking around the streets of Melbourne.

For two years I gave walking tours through the majestic streets of Melbourne. I used Airbnb ‘Experiences’ to source the ‘guests’, advertise the tour, handle the transactions, and communicate with my guests. This is a story about my experience creating my own tour and working with the Airbnb platform.

The Spark

I was catching up with a friend one day and he told me about how he had started doing this thing called ‘Airbnb Experiences’. In an Experience, the host doesn’t rent out their property to guests, but rather they sell their time to provide a local’s perspective to tourists. Examples of…

Header — The Ultimatum Game
Header — The Ultimatum Game

Inherent within the human character is the belief that we should all be treated fairly. For some, injustice might be high levels of poverty in the developing world, while for others it might be the umpire calling a foul and costing their team the game.

The Ultimate game is a famous experiment used to test people’s values of fairness and cooperation. The most famous description of the game was published in 1982 by the German economists Güth, Schmittberger and Schwarze.

How it works

There are two strangers playing the game — the person proposing the offer and the person receiving the offer. …

Have you ever accidentally subscribed to a newsletter and not known how or when it happened? There’s a good chance that you fell prey to a UX dark pattern.

A dark pattern sounds rather incriminating, doesn’t it?

A UX dark pattern is a “user interface that has been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things”.

Sometimes dark patterns are easy to spot and we can smile and wiggle our finger at the screen. Other times, however, they are conniving and devious, and can fool even the most careful person. …

You may have heard an AB test success story that goes something like, “All we did was change the button colour from orange to blue and our conversion rate increased 30%!”

What is the likelihood that you could replicate this triumph with a similarly tiny change?

When designing an experiment, one of the key decisions is how many different variables to test. The answer to this question will depend on our objectives in running the experiment.

At one extreme we could test changing the smallest thing possible, such as a button colour, font size or even simply a word. At…

The art of persuasion is one of the most important skills we can harness in our professional careers. But not only confined to our work, we are also constantly trying to persuade our friends and family members to see it our way. Chinese or Thai takeaway for dinner tonight? The Bachelor or Married At First Sight?

Aristotle believed that persuasion (rhetoric) is made up of three elements, or ‘appeals’. Each persuasive message that you craft should contain each of these three appeals: logos, pathos, and ethos. Let’s dive into each in more detail.

Ethos

Ethos refers to your character — who…

Stephen Ratcliffe

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