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Jared Spool in Philly

by David Sturtz

Just got back from Jared Spool’s lecture (organized by PhiCHI—thanks!). He was entertaining and inspiring, and I came away with several things to think about. (Check out this interview with Spool to get an idea of what was covered.)

The topic of his presentation was “What Users Want,” and he focused on the types of information that users need in order to make decisions. They have termed one such type of information “inukshuk,” after Inuit sculptural figures that were created as guide markers and signify that another person has been where you are. This inukshuk content is commonly found in discussion boards and testimonials where users are informed through empathy.

This reminded me of an article in Businessweek I ran across recently. It references this Science article, indicating the importance of emotion in decision making. Inukshuk information potentially helps to provide this emotional component to the decision making process. Definitely food for thought.

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