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Names on a Memorial

Like all language, organized information can be persuasive. It “directs our thinking,” as biologist Stephen Jay Gould wrote about classification. Names on memorials are examples of organized information where arrangement defines a visitor’s experience. The thoughtful chronology of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial builds a space for individual remembrance. A World War I memorial does the same, but with a different arrangement strategy, reflecting the difference in the two wars. In contrast, the random arrangement proposed for the World Trade Center memorial almost derailed the project. Yet, in another context, random builds community at the Memorial Temples of Burning Man. Click here for the full article.

Tailoring or Persuasion Through Customization

Fogg’s Principle of Tailoring: Information provided by computing technology will be more persuasive if it is tailored to the individual’s needs, interests, personality, usage context, or other factors relevant to the individual. We are all familiar with tailored technology. Every time you go to or Netflix, you are presented with items selected for you based on previous choices. B. J. Fogg in Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do describes a site called Scorecard. Enter your zip code and it will tell you about the pollution in your neighborhood. Tailoring is one of the reasons for the success of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The war lasted for about 18 Click here for the full article.