How do you persuade?

Do you take the “our product/idea/meme/service/etc is the best and the rest are crap” point of view? Or do you take “I’m an authority on this topic and I’m looking out for your best interests” point of view? Which is more likely to persuade you to change your mind?

Are you also looking to help customers become so passionate about your company and your product that they’ll do a better job of selling your ideas/products/company than you ever could?

How do you persuade someone to change their mind?

Slot-machine user experience.

From the New York Times magazine comes an article describing in great detail the efforts and rewards of Slot- machine design.

Still, to maintain a sense of suspense in games that are over the moment they start, to increase what Baerlocher and his fellow game designers call ”time on device,” I.G.T. spends $120 million each year and employs more than 800 designers, graphic artists, script writers and video engineers to find ways to surround the unromantic chips with a colorful matrix of sounds, chrome, garishly-painted glass and video effects, which include the soothing images of famous people, from Bob Denver (the actor who played Gilligan on ”Gilligan’s Island”) to Elizabeth Taylor, many of whom receive hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars to lend their identities to the machines. The traditional pull-handle, if it exists at all, is nothing more than a vestigial limb; most players now press a button to start the reels, often virtual, spinning. Many slot machines don’t even pay out coins but issue ”credits” on a paper receipt to be redeemed at the cashier’s cage. Slot makers have found that their customers don’t miss handling money — coins are heavy and dirty, after all — and stereo speakers can project the simulated yet satisfying ping and clink of cascading cash. ”We basically mixed several recordings of quarters falling on a metal tray and then fattened up the sound with the sound of falling dollars,” says Bill Hecht, I.G.T.’s top audio engineer, when describing one of the audio files he programs into a machine.

Its more than a little disturbing how far companies are willing to go in order to have people part with their money. Despite the negative application it’s a valuable look into what kind of efforts go into creating a user experience that take people through Nathan Sherdoff’s three stages of experience: attraction, engagement, and conclusion.

Thailands Thaksin

offers hope to the people of Thailand’s southern region during a visit to Krue Se mosque. A region which recently suffered the massacre of 100 machete carrying bandits/separatists/militia/gangs by heavily armed government troops. Mr Thaksin spent 10 minutes sitting on a marble floor talking to villagers where he offered his solution to poverty in the region. Birth control. “Mr Thaksin asked a local woman why southern people had so many children and suggested they opt for birth control to fight poverty” (Source).

Thailand certainly doesn’t have a monopoly on leaders with suspect skill in dealing with a populace far removed from the economies of those in power but this guys policies show the compassion one would expect from a greedy monopolist not a leader of a countries people. But then look at the USA.

Art Direction and the Web

, a worthwhile read brought to you by Stephen Hay and A List Apart.

Designers, programmers, and other specialists create essential elements of the whole. But the art director is in a position to tie these parts together for maximum effect, and maximum business results.

The purpose of this article is to introduce our readers to the principles and techniques of the art director