Tag Archives: time distortion

Fight or Flight & Time Perception

February 17th, 2009

I am a bit of a Physics buff so always keen to read up on the latest experiments taking place.

One I saw late last year was on our perception of time.

As part of fight or flight response to a stimulus our body will shut off certain functions to divert energy and focus to other vital functions.

This most commonly occurs as flow or tunnel vision, where you hold a lot of focus on a task such that you lose track of time.

This particular experiment had a guy dropped from a large height onto a big net.  On his wrist he had a watch like device that was flashing a number at a high frequency that you cannot normally view it.

As he fell the idea was to see if he could see the number.

And he could everytime.  That is during a heightened response his ability to perceive his surroundings was much better than normal.

In fact you can watch the video here: Free Fall Experiment

I thought this was pretty neat especially in how it ties into Marketing and in particular usability. 

If you can change your customers perception of time through stimulating flow or enjoyment you create a strong customer relationship with your product & service.

(Extras for experts read my research on Live Search’s inability to create a compelling experience. )

Time Distortion

September 9th, 2008

Time Distortion is part of the model I discussed in Challenges faced by Live Search in creating a compelling experience.

So what is Time Distortion?

Time distortion is where users feel unaware of how much time has passed.

How often have you discovered half an hour has disappeared on you whilst watching youtube? or playing around on facebook? or wikipedia?

This is time distortion.

So why would you bother investigating the factors that influence time distortion?  

Think about the benefits:

  • Enjoyable experience around your brand
  • Higher customer engagement
  • Increase repeat visits
  • Increased User satisfaction
Now check those against your site objectives.  It’s in your interest to create a compelling experience.

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