The Succes and Unsuccess of the Persuasive Design Project

11 Oct

So, last post I mentioned how my Facebook/phone number idea failed.

Basically, with the use of Ryan’s Facebook profile and a new SIM card, I wrote on his status this:

“To all my friends on Facebook,

CALL this number:

*number inserted here*



Reasons as to why will be revealed on Tuesday.”

I thought it would work, considering the persuasion is the reason people would like to know and therefore call. Also I wanted to see how far it could go as well as how trusting people are. However, I only got one call. ONE CALL!!! Unbelievable. I thought at least perhaps five but one?!

So in the end it allowed me to conclude that although this was not a success, it showed that even if you are friends with someone on Facebook (although these friends were his relatives and work colleagues), there still lies the line of distrust within the online/virtual world. I know that perhaps some people may have thought that someone hacked onto his profile, but they could have: A) Messaged/call Ryan up asking what it was about; B) They were not going to lose minutes/credit since it is a missed call I was asking for; and C) There is a thing called a private number.

It got me annoyed for a while but I moved on. The next day, I thought of another idea: Bobble-head and signage.

I decided to use a Darth Vader bobble-head Ryan had with a sign pointing to it saying:

“Tap the head for good luck” (with an arrow pointing downwards. It was interesting for the fact the character is known to be evil and it is associated with good luck.

What I am writing next was taken from my work book for this module (Experimental Communication) as it was worded good enough on there:

Placed in the canteen area of the university, I wanted to test out the reactions of other students and their actions towards it.

I also wanted to test whether people would take notice of the contradiction between the character which is thought of as evil, and it being used as good luck.

^  Cute, right?  ^

Within 30 minutes, I had ten people doing what is asked of on the sign, with many people looking at it when walking past with a smile or laugh. I also noticed that people in groups were more inclined to do it compared to people by themselves, perhaps due to the fun/unusual feeling it gives off. There was also one person, who walking with their friend, passed the figure, looked back, then did the action, afterwards going back to their friend.

With this person, their nationality was Chinese which made me believe that this may have involved the person’s view on luck due to their cultural background or believing in luck.

^  I did certainly get a lot of stares when setting this up. It was embarrassing!  ^

My plans for this ‘event’ had to alter as the canteen was closed off at 3pm, so I went to Ealing Broadway shopping centre to try it out but after enquiring at the head office it was not possible due to commercial reasons and the area being owned by an outside company.

In the end, I taped an A4-sized sign onto my body, carrying the figure at the same time around Ealing Broadway and the university, managing to gather five more people, giving 15 in total.

^  Yes I know I look awful in this photo -_-‘  ^

So yeah, that’s my persuasive design which finally worked!! Yippie!! Now I need to develop it further with something else in mind, but this time we can Photoshop the persuasive scenario *phew!*


2 Responses to “The Succes and Unsuccess of the Persuasive Design Project”

  1. Mark Armstrong October 24, 2012 at 15:32 #

    Haw! One of your funniest posts ever– excellent!! I’m still laughing at the thought of you walking around the shopping center with the sign, carrying good ol’ Darth!! The whole thing’s delightful, and hey, that was a nice photo of you, not “awful” at all!! : )

    Thinking up ideas is always good. Some work, some don’t. Some don’t even make it past the ratty thumbnail on scrap paper stage. I discard tons of them. And lots of times I try to hammer an idea into shape, and must sadly conclude: this just ain’t gonna work!! : (

    Not too surprised about the Facebook/phone number thing. That’s a combo that was bound to run up red flags for a lotta people. As you say: worry about online scams, etc.

    But Darth Vader was brilliant, and it’s the contradiction that makes it work: tap Darth for good luck?? But he’s a bad guy!! Brilliant. I can see that producing a lotta smiles, and people are always more apt to go along when they’re in a good mood.

    Well done, young Fox! And that took a bit of nerve, walking around the shopping center– you got the job done in fine style. Really like your cool new gravatar, too!! : )

    • Sabine October 24, 2012 at 16:04 #

      I’m glad this post brought a good laugh to you, Mark ^__^ Reading it back certainly brings up some smiles. I was just happy that I wasn’t on my own that day — my friend was walking with me with her ‘free hugs’ sign strapped to her! Thank you for the lovely comment, though. Personally, I just think I looked a bit weird on there…. But cameras always do that to me unfortunately ._.’

      That is a great way of putting how ideas can/can’t work. It’s always full of plentiful things until the development/construction stages come around where it seems plausible at first that it would work out but doesn’t do so in the end, leading you back to square one. Overall it was a good experience seeing the aspects of different persuasive designs, both my designs and fellow students, and the feedback given has allowed me to plan on developing it further.

      In the end it did dawn on me how bad the idea was, but it came through thanks to Mister Vader : ) It was great watching the whole process from start to finish, and although it was completely out of my comfort zone, it was also quite fun at the same time. Would I ever plan on doing it again? Maybe.

      Nice to know that you like the new gravatar. I thought after having the previous picture for quite a while now it could do with an update, which is now making me want to update everything. So sooner or later there’ll be a new look… Once I have a lot of time to do so ^^

      Thank you again for your ever-growing support! ^___^

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