Friday, July 07, 2006

Using Adoption Metaphors to Increase Customer Acceptance

About the use of metaphors ...

"Metaphors are used every day. We are all familiar with them and what they are. They help us understand conceptual ideas, convey complex notions and have a shared understanding so that we can talk to each other using verbal shorthand. Take electronic mail, otherwise known as email as an example. Email seems so much like regular mail, except that there is no paper, no ink, no envelope, no postage stamp, and no postal carrier. There is, however, something familiar about composing a message and sending it to someone else.

What about the wildly popular Tivo’s metaphor? I applaud the decision to use a well-known comparison to explain what the product does: the video cassette recorder. Tivo does replicate many of the VCR’s abilities… and yet it offers so much more! We’re so overjoyed to be able to pause live TV that we overlook the fact that Tivo won’t play your video cassette tapes, let you transfer recorded shows from one machine to another, and it requires a monthly fee.

Metaphors help us grasp new things, but they don’t necessarily account for all aspects of that idea. VCRs couldn’t pause live TV; regular postal mail couldn’t arrive at its destination 3.2 seconds after it had been sent. The main characteristics of the original metaphor allow us to understand the basics of the new; the rest we learn over time. Moreover, the original metaphor helps us easily understand why a product might be useful or necessary, which means we’re more likely to adopt it into our daily lives."   continued ...   (Via Boxes and Arrows)


Post a Comment

<< Home

<< Home