Advertising

How a Website Made $465,670 in Two Days (Or, the Psychology Behind the Humble Bundle)

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When was the last time you saw an advertisement? I’d bet it wasn’t too long ago. Was it on a website? A 30-second pre-roll before watching Modern Family on Hulu?

Enter the Humble Bundle, a site that uses some excellent advertising to entice customers to buy “indie” books, video games, and music. Started about two years ago by the ever-forward thinking Jeff Rosen, the Humble Bundle has been a massive, massive success. In total, the Humble Bundles have generated about $19,500,000 in total revenue. In a field littered with piracy, how were they able to generate so much revenue? Read on as I break down eight different ways the Humble Bundle website pushes you to happily give them money (often more than you expected).

Psychology

Psychology Behind Cold Reading: Why are Psychics Always Right?

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Have you ever been to a psychic? If not, I’m sure you can point to a friend who has. Furthermore, I’m sure you have a friend who is an extreme believer in the power of psychics. Whether it’s foreseeing our future, telling us how a deceased loved one is handling the afterlife, or detailing the mistakes we’ve made in the past, psychics usually tell us things we want to hear (and believe are correct). Well, how did the psychics know this? This article breaks down all the details on the psychology behind psychics and cold reading.

Psychology

The Power of Defaults: How One Small Change Impacts 10,000,000 People (Plus Twitter’s New Home Page!)

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Defaults are incredibly interesting. Behind every default choice on a major website, there’s an angry room of people yelling at each other. “Why can’t we move up the image two pixels?!” a Product Manager may say while pounding her fist on the table. “We should move the image down two pixels!!!” a Strategy Manager may counter. Then chimes in the VP of the Digital team, “why do we even need an image?”

For sites like Facebook and Twitter, defaults aren’t just interesting, they’re the lifeblood of the entire company. The things a user first sees when they navigate to a website channel the user’s behavior and their interaction with the site. In some instances, 95% of users don’t change or configure anything; they leave the page or application exactly how they found it.

Therefore, when Twitter launched their new homepage (their second homepage change in the past year), I was interested to examine the pages at a microscopic level: what changed, and what implications does this have for users navigating to twitter.com? Furthermore, an understanding of defaults may have dramatic effects on how you interact with pages online! Twitter isn’t the only company that does this: some of the most popular website you use–like Facebook, Google, ESPN, and Wikipedia–test defaults all the time.

Psychology

Studies in Weird Human Behavior: How to Create a Better Craigslist Ad

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Moving is always a hassle. When the summer heat comes to the northeast, so do the increased rent prices (which makes renting out an apartment a pain!).

But, as with most things, there’s a way to beat the system. After reading Nudge, I was inspired by the examples of little changes that produce huge results.

Thankfully, the perfect opportunity arose. Recently, I decided I wanted to move from my apartment in the Lower East Side of Manhattan to an apartment in a different area with a good friend. In order to move from this apartment, though, I needed to find someone to take my place. Anyone who lives in a large city knows what a pain getting rid of an apartment can be. However, in order to separate myself from the million other people trying to leave their place, I decided to test some ad variations. Below, you’ll see the four different advertisements I ran, the results, and the funny unexpected result to this process.