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Nobody Buys Anything with Alexa, How UX Has Killed Piracy and What We Can Learn from the US Midterm Elections

New Study Shows Very Few People Buy Anything with Amazon's Alexa

In a new report conducted with Alexa users, only 2% reported using the device for actual shopping, with the majority of usage being entertainment and information related - e.g. "Play more Rhianna" or "What's the weather going to be like today?". A handful of tech reporters have pointed out that this should have been obvious as voice UI doesn't provide you with the expected visual information we typically need before making a purchase decision.

Key Takeaway

We all thought Voice UI was going to be the next big thing, and in some ways it still is. We've gotten very comfortable with talking out loud and not feeling like we're crazy. The truth is, we may still be in the very early adopter phase of the true potential of Voice UI. Many of us are using it, but we're not prepared to trust it yet.

This is similar to the smartphone days prior to the iPhone. Not all of us were ready to use our phones to do secure tasks like mobile banking, but with the right device, the mainstream eventually moved in that direction.

It's early days for Voice UI - we're just scratching the surface.

New Report Shows P2P File Sharing Is At an All Time Low

In a recent survey of 35,000 people worldwide, online piracy is at an all time low, and the reason? Easy to use streaming services like Netflix. The publishers of the research make a point of showing how innovative online products like Netflix and Hulu will always beat enforcement when it comes to changing people's behaviours.

Key Takeaway

People just want what they want in the easiest way you can give it to them. If you provide them with something that's easier to get with affordable payment options, they'll typically choose that option over theft.

This is a great example of how great products can mean the difference between soaring profits (Netflix) and dwindling revenue (Comcast) for an entire industry. Putting your customer first always wins.

Why Paper Ballots Are Still Better Than Digital Solutions

This week Georgian researchers released data showing a voter turnout of 243% according to the state's digital voting systems... Which is, yes, impossible.

The glitch has been a lightning rod for debate about whether we should be using digital voting systems in the first place, and reminds us about the "fun" of the George Bush Jr. election issues in Florida back in 2000. Most notably, pointing fingers at lobbyists for digital solutions.

If you want to know more about the issue - here's a great write up: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/08/georgia-defends-voting-system-despite-243-percent-turnout-in-one-precinct/

Key Takeaway

Digital Transformation is typically a great thing; however, in this case, those who were pushing for it didn't completely understand the larger system that it had to play in. The key factor in that system being the current reliance on paper ballots as a receipt for voters to confirm they voted for who they thought they were voting for.

It's too easy to push for digital solutions without fully doing your homework and following some fairly traditional design thinking models, e.g. Stanford D school's model, IDEO or MG Taylor.

Nobody Buys Anything with Alexa, How UX Has Killed Piracy and What We Can Learn from the US Midterm Elections
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