Primacy Effect & Web Design: Tenthousanddoors.org
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Primacy Effect & Web Design: Tenthousanddoors.org

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Analysis of primacy effect and the United Methodist Church's Tenthousanddoors.org site for MCDM course COM 597: Psychology of Digital Media. ...

Analysis of primacy effect and the United Methodist Church's Tenthousanddoors.org site for MCDM course COM 597: Psychology of Digital Media.

Assignment:

For each application analysis, students will produce a Powerpoint presentation with 4 slides:

1. Describe the psychological process (original full-slide textual summary, 10-12 point font).

2. Explain how the process is in operation and affecting usage of a website or other media (screenshots and half-page explanation).

3. Discuss whether the required conditions for the process to operate according to the theory match or do not match the digital media environment (screenshots and half-page explanation).

4. Recommend to a designer, marketer, or executive what changes in the interface, messaging, or business model that would better align the digital media with the psychology of the users (bulleted list and paragraphs).

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  • Assignment: For each application analysis, students will produce a Powerpoint presentation with 4 slides: 1. Describe the psychological process (original full-slide textual summary, 10-12 point font). 2. Explain how the process is in operation and affecting usage of a website or other media (screenshots and half-page explanation). 3. Discuss whether the required conditions for the process to operate according to the theory match or do not match the digital media environment (screenshots and half-page explanation). 4. Recommend to a designer, marketer, or executive what changes in the interface, messaging, or business model that would better align the digital media with the psychology of the users (bulleted list and paragraphs). 
  • Many of today’s churches are turning to new media (social media, digital media, etc.) to reinvigorate the severed or fraying connections they have with past and current members. Some are using channels like twitter and facebook to attract younger generations to church, as churches position themselves as a place to be involved in issues of action and social justice. The United Methodist Church is one of these organizations turning to emerging media to rebrand themselves as a people who do and act, rather than sit in pews. Evidence of these efforts are seen in recent campaigns: www.rethinkchurch.org and www.tenthousanddoors.org, wherein images and video of engaging stories have replaced paragraphs of text. The current website’s splash immediately features two YouTube videos: Project Neighborhood and Youth Groups Imagine No Malaria. From the placement of these videos, one would assume these to be the organization’s priorities: changing the world through community involvement, and eliminating Malaria. Both videos show how change can happen with one (ordinary) person.The navigation is simple: 4 buttons on the left side of the page: Go/Do: See the global needs; Now: What conversations/news are happening now via twitter (broken down by topic); Find: Search for volunteer opportunities; and Us: About the organization/United Methodist Church and its beliefs. It’s assumed that one can find what they need in these four categories. In terms of recall, visitors should easily remember the two ideas the site is trying to promote (Change the world and Ending malaria), since those are the biggest images on the front page.
  • Website redesign suggestions:Show the conversation on the FRONT page with a twitter feed (http://twitter.com/goodies/widgets).What’s the affiliation? Even though they don’t want to put anything really churchy on the site, it’s still good to throw even a small logo somewhere on the page so those who are familiar with the affiliation can easily identify.Though simple design can be really powerful, some people want to search for specific things. Where’s the search button?!

Transcript

  • 1. Primacy Effect & Website Design
    Sophia Agtarap
    Week 1 Deliverable: Primacy Effect
    COM 597: Psychology of Digital Media
    Summer 2010
  • 2. We’ve all heard various sayings about the lasting effects of first impressions. If we intend to leave a good (and lasting) impression, we put our best game on. Results from Asch’s famous study (1946) wherein respondents were asked about liking someone who was “intelligent, industrious, impulsive, critical, stubborn, and envious,” versus “envious, stubborn, critical, impulsive, industrious, and intelligent” show that we are able to recall information we learn earlier than later. So it is with introductions to people, products, ideas, etc. We have a tendency to give weight to information gathered at these initial encounters, and though our opinions may change over time, the first impressions that were formed influence how we view subsequent information and encounters. Some say this is attributed to the fact that our short-term memory merely has more room to process information (Primacy, 2009).
    This cognitive bias may be applied to the way we consume digital information—namely around design choices with website real estate and navigation. It’s all about location and placement, right? Our placement of images, media and text on our websites give a clear indication of who we are as an individual or organization and what we value. We operate in an information-rich world wherein attention is regarded as a commodity (Simon, 1971). In what ways will we present information digitally that will stay in the minds of visitors to our websites? How will the positioning of links and the organization of navigation encourage one to stay or leave our site? How does an organization best represent oneself in the most concise and engaging way?
    In this digital culture, organizations are realizing that their websites play a crucial role in setting this first impression. Using powerful images, video and little text, visitors to their sites are being wowed (or turned off) by what they see, confirming in the minds of these visitors whether or not they will give this organization another look. Understanding how the primacy effect works in an online, media-rich environment is crucial to creating a memorable user experience.
    Asch, S. E. (1946) Forming impressions of personality, Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 41, 258-290
     
    Primacy. (2009). In Wikia.com. Retrieved from http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Primacy_effect on June 28, 2010.
    Simon, H. A. (1971), "Designing Organizations for an Information-Rich World", in Martin Greenberger, Computers, Communication, and the Public Interest, Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins Press, ISBN 0-8018-1135-X.
     
  • 3.
  • 4.
  • 5. Analysis
    Many of today’s churches are turning to new media (social media, digital media, etc.) to reinvigorate the severed or fraying connections they have with past and current members. Some are using channels like twitter and facebook to attract younger generations to church, as churches position themselves as a place to be involved in issues of action and social justice.
    The United Methodist Church is one of these organizations turning to emerging media to rebrand themselves as a people who do and act, rather than sit in pews. Evidence of these efforts are seen in recent campaigns: www.rethinkchurch.org and www.tenthousanddoors.org, wherein images and video of engaging stories have replaced paragraphs of text.
    The current website’s splash immediately features two YouTube videos: Project Neighborhood and Youth Groups Imagine No Malaria. From the placement of these videos, one would assume these to be the organization’s priorities: changing the world through community involvement, and eliminating Malaria. Both videos show how change can happen with one (ordinary) person.
    The navigation is simple: 4 buttons on the left side of the page:
    Go/Do: See the global needs;
    Now: What conversations/news are happening now via twitter (broken down by topic);
    Find: Search for volunteer opportunities; and
    Us: About the organization/United Methodist Church and its beliefs.
    It’s assumed that one can find what they need in these four categories. In terms of recall, visitors should easily remember the two ideas the site is trying to promote (Change the world and Ending malaria), since those are the biggest images on the front page.
  • 6.
  • 7. Website redesign suggestions:
    Show the conversation on the FRONT page with a twitter feed.
    What’s the affiliation? Even though they may not want to put anything really churchy on the site, it’s still good to throw even a small logo somewhere on the page so those who are familiar with the affiliation can easily identify.
    Though simple design can be really powerful, some people want to search for specific things. Where’s the search button?!