Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Seduction: The Art of Harnessing Curiosity to Drive Engagement

Seductive ideas rest on our ability to spark the kind of intrigue that will keep the imagination engaged.

Like Mona Lisa, who seems to be alive because her attitude is so open to interpretation, something left to imagination will enthrall and captivate better than something served on a platter. Both Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo were masters of deliberately unfinished or ambiguous work, which exploited the power of suggestion.

Today's dialog creators should also grant their audience the freedom to finish what the creator began. As the iPhone that removed the keyboard from a cell phone shows, subtraction produces seduction.

Curiosity is a natural trait of human mind. When something is missing, the mind looks for it actively.

In designing interactions, then, we have an opportunity to invite our users to look for and fill in missing pieces. This is seduction, the art of harnessing curiosity to drive interaction.

(Inspired by: In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing by Matthew May, Broadway Books, 2009)

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