• Tanvir Shahjahan

Webs of Influence by Nathalie Nahai

Updated: Apr 2, 2019

The author has worked with several fortune-500 companies, helping them apply scientific proviso to their web-site design, content marketing and products. Natalie's background is in psychology and digital strategy. the book's audience is digital marketers, product designers and web designers.

There are three parts, where each part starts with a visual summary of the content this is a useful aide for if I was to come back to the book and need a recap on the content.

Part 1: Know who you're targeting

This part looks at personality traits such as individualism versus collectivism with recommendations for designing solutions in ways that make each insight work for you. While these make stimulating reading, the main thing is to remember is that a design solution that would be very successful in a society that is highly individualistic might not appeal to people at the other end of the spectrum. UK (individualistic) vs Bangladesh (Collective Society). Depending on your target audience, you can and should ignore advice that is wrong for them. One thing that surprised me can be seen in the following quote:

"Although gender differences can and do exist, it is important to understand that you're much more likely to find a greater difference between individuals of the same gender - for instance between one woman and the next - than between genders - between men and women in genera;"

She makes it easy to digest and helps create a list with items that may not seem to apply to a particular audience but helps you see the importance of them.

Part 2: Communicate Persuasively

Part 2 starts with he psychology of colour, (red with danger, green with relaxing etc). It helps you understand them and the pop-psychology perceptions that exist as well as backing it with evidence to ensure faith in what she says. One thing she mentions is the different parts of the brain become active when a person sees something beautiful versus something that is ugly, although this is subjective there are general things that can help something look more pretty, symmetry being the easiest to implement.

Part 3: Sell with integrity

"Persuasion, Emotion and Trust" with a healthy dose of behavioural economics in the mix. this is arguably the most practically useful part of the book for UX designers it provides the specifics and how to execute them efficiently.

I think the book has a lot of potential, I wasn't able to connect with it as much as someone with a more design orientated background, although the information is targeted at beginners it does provide information for anyone with their own project as the patterns and methodologies are transferable.

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