Welcome to Issue 4 of Sparks & Kindling, a periodic digest of the things that have been fueling our thinking at Where There’s Smoke over the last few weeks. Most are recent articles but we may drop in a few noteworthy classics. We hope you find it stimulating and hopefully useful too - let us know your thoughts.

 

Fast Company/Jeremy Kohm/EyeEM/Getty Images

Fast Company/Jeremy Kohm/EyeEM/Getty Images

The psychology of choice (and bagels)

Our first article is an entertaining as well as deeply profound analysis around the behavioural science of choice, focusing on the dilemma of where to get your bagel in the morning. Covering the key issues around how most people try to avoid choice and the accompanying anxiety it can produce, the article covers the key ways to help make choosing your product or service more inevitable.

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Fast Company/Hero Images/Getty Images

Fast Company/Hero Images/Getty Images

UX Reality Check: 14 Hard Truths About Users

This next article takes the choice problem on further, covering some newly collated collective wisdom on that critical but awkward subject of User Experience (UX). The idea is that we are now at the end of the phase where design has been led by what technology, time and money allows rather than understanding what, from a user point of view, you should do.  The next phase needs to take much more account of human psychology, and understand more about how people actually are rather than how we would like them to be.  So maybe the new way to measure success will be to ask how many of these hard truths our app or site answers rather than metrics such as stickability and dwell time.

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Techcrunch/Heathers

Techcrunch/Heathers

All the cool kids are doing Ethereum now

And now you are well warmed up mentally and just when you were feeling so money supermarket on all things blockchain, how would you feel if we told you that was all so last week? Introducing ethereum the cooler, more geeky but scarily more vague next evolution of blockchain.

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Neko Atsume screenshot

Neko Atsume screenshot

What’s cool for teens in 2016

Time to lighten up again after wrapping your mind around ethereum, and a chance to peak into the world of teens and what they really think is cool in the first half of 2016. Based on a US study, it looks pretty similar to what we see happening amongst the teens loitering around us here. Instagram, Netflix, Snapchat and Spotify rule, but how much do you know about finstas, musical.ly and the cat collecting craze that is Neko Atsume?

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And finally….

 

Wired

Wired

We got sprayed in the face by a 9D television

If you, like us, are fed up with the wait for affordable OLED TVs what about transforming your enjoyment of the soaps by letting your TV squirt eau de Queen Vic in your face? Or consider the appeal of Countryfile…with accompanying farmyard pong it might never be the same again…

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