Include me out

It’s not always obvious how our tools can distort our methods.  

A colleague who was co-ordinating a social event recently sent out an email asking us to say what kind of food we’d prefer by using the voting buttons in our reply.  The choices were Indian, Chinese, Italian, No Preference.   “Cool use of the tool” I thought.  

It was only a few days later that another colleague said how disappointed she was that the most popular option was Indian, because she really doesn’t like Indian food.  (How can anyone not like Indian food? – But that’s another bemusement for another day).

It was then that I realised that what was needed was not voting for buttons, but vetoing buttons, with the option for vetoing more than one choice. 

I’d have made the same mistake, and it’s an interesting one.

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3 responses to “Include me out

  1. Oooo, look at her!!!!

  2. My post above is missing text so makes no sense at all!

  3. Interesting. I think I’d have been more inclined to use a “veto” model now than I would have been a year or two ago, for one simple reason: video games.

    Online first-person shooters match players from around the world in games which feature variations on run-around-the-place-shooting-people. Most have a dozen or more alternative arenas in which to stage these games. In a pre-game lobby, the game type and arena are announced, and players have a fixed time in which to register a “veto”. If more than half the players veto a map, another is chosen. You don’t get to veto that one, however. It keeps things moving, gives one something of a feeling of control, and acts as a useful metric for the developers to see which of their maps are working and which are disliked.

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