The Most Persuasive Website in the World and More – Roger’s Picks

It’s that time again, and we’ve got a diverse set of reading from around the web. Please share your own great find in a comment!

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When Big Data Meets Consumer Behaviour: Social Media and Our Memories (video)

There is a lot of talk about big data and the social media data that we leave behind us online. In this talk of tools and processes, examples and opportunities, it can be easy to forget what we are dealing with. Social media data is the memories of the people who wrote that post, or took that photo. And memories mean something very specific to us as human beings.

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Vivid Print Ads Change Your Memory

Remember that fresh, buttery popcorn you had a few weeks ago? Maybe you didn’t really have it at all, and the memory was created by a magazine ad. Impossible, you say? Actually, new research shows that some print ads can be impactful enough to create a false memory of having tried a product that doesn’t even exist.

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Fancy Fonts Boost Recall

If you want someone to remember your information, should you use a simple, easy to read font or one that is more complicated and difficult to read? Most people would guess that simplicity is best; after all, we know that simple fonts convince better. Surprisingly, though, those who opted for simplicity would be wrong.

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Designing Web Sites for Ageing Cavemen

As usual, Jakob Nielsen's December Alertbox newsletter contains some thought proving stuff.

It is all about short-term memory and web usability. The central thesis is that the brain is not optimised for the abstract thinking and memorising data that web sites often demand.

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First-time Scents Are Memorable

We know that smells can evoke memories – think Proust’s madeleine – but new research shows that first-time scents seem to merit a unique status in our brains. The researchers used fMRI imaging to judge how well people paired scents and objects a week after their first exposure:

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