Posts tagged “purchase”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] I Own An iPad, So What Do I do With It? [NPD Group Blog] – [If you think about it, this makes sense – people who are motivated to buy a product the day it comes out have different motivations, intentions, and ultimately, experiences. So who are we building for? Are we segmenting our approach with an understanding of these different customers and their expectations/experiences?] Almost 80 percent of early adopters were very satisfied with their iPad versus 65 percent of those who bought it after launch.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Last supper ‘has been super-sized’, say obesity experts [BBC News] – The food portions depicted in paintings of the Last Supper have grown larger – in line with our own super-sizing of meals, say obesity experts. A Cornell University team studied 52 of the most famous paintings of the Biblical scene over the millennium and scrutinized the size of the feast. They found the main courses, bread and plates put before Jesus and his disciples have progressively grown by up to two-thirds. Based on the assumption that the width of an average loaf of bread from the time should be twice that of the average disciple's head, the researchers plotted the size of the Passover evening dishes. The main meals grew 69% and plate size 66% between the oldest (carried out in 1000AD) and most recent (1700s) paintings. Bread size grew by about 23%.
  • Butch Bakery – Where Butch Meets Buttercream – "Butch Bakery was born when David Arrick felt it was time to combine a masculine aesthetic to a traditionally cute product -the cupcake. When a magazine article mentioned that cupcakes were a combination of everything "pink, sweet, cute, and magical", he felt it was time to take action, and butch it up." Flavors include Rum & Coke, Mojito, Home Run, Beer Run, Campout, Tailgate, Driller, and (ahem) Jackhammer
  • Making Design Research Less of a Mystery [ChangeOrder] – Design researchers don't work exactly like professional detectives. We don't sit down with their users and start asking them point-blank questions regarding a single moment in time, such as, "Exactly where were you on the night of November 17th, when Joe Coxson was found floating face-down in a kiddie pool?" We don't consider the users as criminals, having perpetrated crimes against the state—our clients?—that must be solved. The crimes are the points of friction that go remarked (or unremarked) about the course of our subject's lives, in using the tools that surround them, and in the myths and beliefs that drive their everyday behavior. Our methods of detection are geared towards being sponges, soaking up both the large-scale and minute details that indicate layers of behavior that may have gone unremarked in the design and everyday use of various products, services, and interactive systems.
  • The Medium – Shelf Life [] – People who reject e-books often say they can’t live without the heft, the texture and the scent of traditional books. This aria of hypersensual book love is not my favorite performance. I sometimes suspect that those who gush about book odor might not like to read. If they did, why would they waste so much time inhaling? Among the best features of the Kindleis that there’s none of that. The device, which consigns all poetry and prose to the same homely fog-toned screen, leaves nothing to the experience of books but reading. This strikes me as honest, even revolutionary….Most of these books were bought impulsively, more like making a note to myself to read this or that than acquiring a tangible 3-D book; the list is a list of resolutions with price tags that will, with any luck, make the resolutions more urgent. Though it’s different from Benjamin’s ecstatic book collecting, this cycle of list making and resolution and constant-reading-to-keep-up is not unpleasurable.
  • Human-flesh Search Engines in China [] – The popular meaning of the Chinese term for human-flesh search engine is now not just a search by humans but also a search for humans, initially performed online but intended to cause real-world consequences. Searches have been directed against all kinds of people, including cheating spouses, corrupt government officials, amateur pornography makers, Chinese citizens who are perceived as unpatriotic, journalists who urge a moderate stance on Tibet and rich people who try to game the Chinese system. Human-flesh searches highlight what people are willing to fight for: the political issues, polarizing events and contested moral standards that are the fault lines of contemporary China.

Why people don’t buy your product

i-heart-my-roomba (WinCE)
I was quoted in today’s San Francisco Chronicle, considering the potential for e-readers (after our Reading Ahead research)

For the concept of a device that allows books to be read electronically, “this is the year we get it,” said Steve Portigal, the head of Pacifica consumer research firm Portigal Consulting. “But there’s this huge psychological chasm we have to cross before people buy them.”

Of course, this was part of a larger discussion and I wanted to share some of it here. As much as new products are tangible objects that we can exchange money for, they are also (and perhaps more importantly so) ideas. In my assessment, the digital book has reached a state similar to the Roomba. We’re aware of them, we probably even know someone that has one, and we find the basic premise compelling. And we can probably be satisfied with that vicarious experience for a good while, knowing that we live in a world where robots clean our floors without any effort by us and computers let us carry around a lot of books. So the product will show up in the daily comics, and in plot lines on network television; it’s a meme. But for us to actually purchase and integrate it into our lives requires a much closer examination of the proposition and a consideration of whether or not it fits who we are or want to say we are. And neither Roomba nor the e-Reader are there yet. So, yes, we “get it” now, but we don’t necessarily all want it, just yet.

You can see this phenomena in the common situation where market research reports that people were highly likely to purchase an upcoming product but actual sales don’t match that intent.

Out of the box? There is no box. Really.


Software advertised on the web is often showed in some version of what it might look like on the shelf. Even if there is no box; the software is ordered online and downloaded. There’s no physical tangible artifact. No box, no printed manual, no shrink-wrap, no CD. But the box denotes “I’m for sale” and persists as a representation of the purchase.

Note that some of the above may be actually available in boxes, but I suspect most of them are not. Indeed, some of the box images are incredibly simplistic, iconic rather than representative of what you might see in a store. Maybe someone read these Photoshop tips for creating an image of a product box.

New DVD Player

Well, I took the leap today and ordered a DVD player. Yep, I’m Mr. Early-Adopter, eh?

I chose the Panasonic DVD-CV51. It is a 5-disc changer, which means it will replace my CD player in the stack of black boxes currently taking over my living room.

It has all my usual 5 disc CD functions, plus a DVD function. And it’ll play my CD-Rs (of which I have many – but I guess many DVD players won’t play ’em) and it will also play MP3 CDRs – not sure how that will work, but it’s worth a shot. had a very good deal which I found through MySimon. I learned from doing just a little reading that there are a lot of places that are playing bait and switch with availability, shipping costs, etc. Lots of horrific customer experiences on the web. And I guess a phone call 2 days later to sell you more accessories is standard for the lowest priced places. Although with free shipping and a special discount they were offering, I did better than the “unapproved” places.

I paid less, and I have peace of mind. Isn’t life grand? I can’t wait til it arrives!


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