The Smarter Screen – Shlomo Benartzi Book Summary

The Smarter Screen – Shlomo Benartzi | Free Book Summary

The Smarter Screen – Shlomo Benartzi

We have access to a vast amount of online information, but our brains are not wired to process them effectively. The Smarter Screen advocates for better design that improves our ability to make good decisions.

The lesson is simple: human attention has become the sweet crude oil of the twenty-first century. If you can control the levers of human attention, then you can essentially charge whatever you’d like

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The dilemma of digital choices

The digital revolution is changing the way we live. We have more choices than ever before and can act on them quickly. Yet, there remain profound challenges.

We may have more choices, but we choose the wrong thing. We have more data but miss the most relevant details. We act quickly, but often without thinking. However, using the tools and tactics of behavioral science can improve our online behavior.

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The mind has limited processing power

Research by psychologist Nelson Cowan shows that people can remember only four pieces of information at any given time. The rest is noise. 

Whenever the amount of information we consume exceeds our ability to process it, we stop noticing it.

Too much digital information creates blind spots

In 2013, the United States government launched a new website designed to help people choose health insurance. The website included price comparisons and features on all local insurance plans. Yet, most people made poor insurance choices on the Web site. The typical person chose a plan that was too expensive for their needs and income. 

Another study found that giving consumers more health care options online decreased their ability to find the most suitable plan. As a result, 80% of people picked sub-optimally.

Screens can be designed to make us smarter

Screens can be designed using behavioral solutions and practical tools. We can use digital nudges and tailor them for our new online environment.

There are numerous differences between offline and online thinking, which should be reflected in the designs of our screens. Since almost every business is now digital and nearly every consumer is making decisions online, it’s vital that we get these designs right.

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