This article was the most difficult that I’ve written.

Not because I’m ashamed of my disability, but because I know that everybody faces their own challenges in life, and I didn’t want to sound self-absorbed.

Actually, who am I kidding? I guess I am also a bit ashamed.

Three years ago, my retina detached. All by itself. Thanks eye.

While a retinal detachment isn’t altogether uncommon, my eyes also have a birth defect called retinal coloboma and my left eye was born lazy and unable to read on its own.


One of the most powerful ways to persuade people to your opinion is by providing them with indisputable facts. The problem is, if you give your audience three pages of tabulated datasets, they are highly unlikely to read them. This is one of the reasons we choose to present data in the form of charts and visualisations rather than tables of figures.

It’s simple, right? We just open PowerPoint, click the Chart Wizard button and voila, we are statistical masters.

Not so fast!

Creating visualisations is not quite so simple. In fact, it can be rather difficult at times to…


I still find it hard to believe I hosted a community television program about lawn bowls, a game I had never played before.

Back in 2005 my younger brother agreed to help create a lawn bowls instructional DVD. We knew nothing about lawn bowls, but we’d both done media studies at high school and owned a handycam. How hard could it be? We shot and edited the DVD, which was not only fun to do, but also resulted in a popular product that we sold all over the world.

Following the success of the DVD, we decided to set our…


I have a riddle for you…

How can an experiment fail but still be a success?

Easy! The goal of experimentation is to learn. As long as we’ve learnt something then the experiment must have been a success.

Nice try.

Another reason is that experiments can have multiple goals. While one goal might fail, another one may unsurprisingly succeed.

For example, an experiment may have these two goals:

  • increase enquiry form submissions
  • increase newsletter subscriptions


It would be difficult to find a Victorian who doesn’t know who Jeff Kennett is. The Liberal party politician was the Premier of Victoria for two terms from 1992 to 1998. During this period, many large infrastructure projects were undertaken, and Kennett is particularly remembered for the stamp these buildings have made on Melbourne streetscapes.

Architecture firm Denton Corker Marshall was a popular choice during these years; many of Melbournians’ least-liked buildings were born out of their studio.

1. The Melbourne International Gateway (aka. The Cheese Stick)

Designed by architects Denton Corker Marshall, the Cheese Stick was installed in 2000 along the side of the new Citylink tollway in…


It was 9:30 on Friday night. I had just finished a gruelling week of work and study. On that particular Friday I had started work at 7:30am, gone straight from work to class and then finally finished school at 9:30pm. After finishing class, my girlfriend wasn’t due home for another hour and I had nothing better to do, so I went back to my computer and studied for another hour still.

As I studied, I thought about the pottery class that my girlfriend and I had enrolled into for the tomorrow morning. I hadn’t done any pottery since high school…


Product managers love a good framework and one of my favourites is the ‘EAST’ framework for designing choice architecture. Developed by the UK Behavioural Insights Team, aka the ‘Nudge Unit’, the EAST framework is lovingly simple, which makes it’s a great acronym to keep in your back pocket ready to go.

So what is it all about?

The EAST framework helps us to create experiences that influence user behaviour. …


Have you ever sat through a presentation full of fancy, detailed graphs that did nothing save give you a splitting headache?

I’m convinced that many people put complicated data visualisations into their decks just to confuse us. I’m not sure whether it’s their strategy for making us accept their flawed arguments, or rather they just want to show how academic they are. It’s true that statistics persuade us, but it’s important that they do this through highlighting key data and not just through pretty colours.

Today I implore you, please don’t be one of these people! Use your data wisely!


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.

Add alt text


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. …

Stephen Ratcliffe

Senior Product Manager @ Campaign Monitor

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