During my last holiday I read Blink, Malcolm Gladwell’s second book. In this book Gladwell explains thin-slicing, a technique we apply to get a snap judgement on someone or something. We are usually taught to ignore this gut feeling. To base our judgements on a rational thought process. But in this book Gladwell makes a strong argument that thin-slicing can be worth more than years of rational research.

Malcolm Gladwell's BlinkWhat I found really interesting is that someone’s behavior and opinions are much less based on their personal values and much more on the situation they are in. Subtle cues from your environment, that you are unconsciously taking in, have a big impact on your thoughts and actions.

Having read both The Tipping Point and Outliers I must say this is the author’s best work yet. Although I liked the stories and people we meet in The Tipping Point and Outliers better, Blink had a much bigger effect on me. It made me so much more aware of my own behavior and thoughts. It made me constantly scan my situation for cues that guide my thought process. It taught me how to balance quick judgements by rationally taking apart the series of events that led to that judgement. In short: it taught me how to be aware of my own unconscious.

Applying Blink to UX

Applying Blink’s premise to UX it becomes clear that creating experiences that are right is of utmost importance. People will judge your website or application in a snap and it’s hard for them to detach from that very first impression.

So, let’s build great interaction, write good content and design a slick UI.

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