The Curse of Knowledge and Coffee Makers
We talk about user experience for websites, but we also need to focus on the experience of dealing with our marketing vehicles:
- Envelopes that will not open without ripping
- Lobby videos made with audio but the sound is turned down by employees
- Too-small font sizes on brochures
- Billboards you can’t read even traveling at 20 miles per hour
This list is long and frustrating to the general public, which defeats the purpose of the communication executions. The problem is what some refer to as the “Curse of Knowledge.” It is difficult for ‘informed people to think about problems from the perspective of uninformed people.’
In other words, put on the other person’s shoes and walk a bit. We were shopping for a new coffee maker at a local store. One of the new coffee maker manufacturers had prepared a video, as you can see from the photo. I pushed the button and blammo — loud music that echoed through the store. It embarrassed my spouse (who quickly walked away) and me. I persevered to see if the video would shed some light on the coffee maker. It didn’t. It was an image video. At that point I wanted to be sold, not branded. I needed information, testimonials and data. Instead I got slo-mo, music and lifestyle video.
The video probably looked really good in the C-suite. In the field it didn’t sell the product. The Curse of Knowledge strikes again: I was, and continue to be, a member of the uninformed, yet the new owner of a competitor’s coffee maker.