Fall 2004: 4.208
Designing Persuasive Environments and Technologies

Individual assignment: Observation

Due beginning of class on Thu, September 23

"The obvious isn't always apparent"


The goal of this exercise is to sharpen your critical observation skills and help you to begin to look at the world around you from the perspective of a captologist. I want you to start looking for the "invisible connections" around you and to think about how they could be used to persuade. 


Before you begin, read the P. Underhill "Why We Buy" selections handed out in class.

Task Part 1

Think about an indoor or outdoor mall you have visited recently that is easily accessible from MIT. Imagine that you are sitting in a particular spot. On a 8.5 x 11 in. sheet of paper sketch as much detail as you can remember about the scene from that spot: where are things, what obstacles exist, how large are stores and other objects, what is on display, where are the major signs, where do people cluster, etc. Get as much as you can (readably) on your diagram. Use hand sketching only. Do not do this on the computer. 

After you have completed your diagram, visit the spot you chose. On a copy of your original diagram in a new color, indicate what you got wrong. Most importantly, indicate what you missed. Indicate how your mental model differed from reality and, in no more than a few typed paragraphs, try to explain why the differences exist. 

Task Part 2 

For this task you will investigate the impact of the environment on the shopping experience. 


Hand in all your unedited original notes and your summary sheet.  


I know this is a somewhat vague assignment. Do the best you can. 

Last modified: Thursday, September 16, 2004