Book review: The Smarter Screen: Surprising Ways to Influence and Improve Online Behavior by Shlomo Benartzi and Jonah Lehrer

Book Reviews

The most suffocating part about my previous job – and I understood this quite recently – is the fact that it suffocated my reading. The inspiration and the motivation for enlightenment have gone for a long walk… I switched to fiction. I love fiction, don’t get me wrong, but what I love even more is a book that makes me discover things and makes me crave for more knowledge.

 I am thrilled to say that The Smarter Screen: Surprising Ways to Influence and Improve Online Behavior by Shlomo Benartzi and Jonah Lehrer reminded me about the things that I was missing.

Few of us are aware of the visual biases and behavioral patterns that influence our thinking when we’re on our laptops, iPads, smartphones, or smartwatches. The sheer volume of information and choices available online, combined with the ease of tapping “buy,” often make for poor decision making on screens. Using engaging reader exercises and provocative case studies, Benartzi shows how digital designs can influence our decision making on screens in all sorts of surprising ways.

It’s hard to deny that attention is the new currency. Screens are demanding and above all else distracting. Even though the technological progress was professed to bring progress and ease into our lives, when it comes to screens we still perform worse, we are less attentive, we fail to remember things, we also are more predictable and easier to influence. Screens give easier and faster access, but in a lot of cases, fast doesn’t mean right.

Shlomo Benartzi showcases how the screens and an overwhelming amount of information can impair our decision-making process. At the same time by providing results of countless studies – for instance, a study about photography and how zooming in and focusing on the details of a shot can help us recall the experience of taking the photograph much more vividly OR one which describes how a personal touch of a hotelier can help save unused towels and thus save water – the author gives the reader the keys to understanding the ways how to harness attention in the digital world.

The Smarter Screen is both informative and well-written, the book is an enlightening and entertaining entertaining read.

Rating: 5*


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