Teaching customers a lesson

Seth Godin talks about companies that try to teach their customers a lesson:

“Either you’re going to make someone happy or you’re not…

Here’s the short version: If you try to teach a customer a lesson, you’ve just done two things:
a. failed at teaching a lesson
b. lost a customer”

How does this relate to the “stick” approach to changing users’ behaviour?

How does it relate to DRM, often presented as “keeping honest customers honest”?

If you’re designing (planning) a user’s experience (retail, product design, software, services), do you look on the user as the enemy, or the focus of your efforts?

(Trackback URI for Seth’s post)


  1. Dan

    My apologies; I removed it in order to test a new WordPress plugin (the introductory post is ‘sticky’, and messes up some other plugins).

  2. here’s praying this works and that ie users can read it. the site rediesign is a complete balls-up. firefox rendersd comment pages incorrectly now. the bottom half of the comment box is half visible over top of the top-of-page banner and the submit button is visible, but nothing else is, including the preexisting comments. i’m typing this blind so apologies for any typos. this has to be fixed or rolled back asap!

  3. Dan

    Thanks for the comment, but give me a chance. The redesign isn’t finished yet.

    It may not be best practice to try out new WordPress themes on a live website, but that’s what I’m doing.

    Not sure why the comments don’t appear correctly for you. I’ve tested it in Firefox 1.5 and 2 so far – what version are you using? The IE sidebar issue is apparently well-known; I’ll endeavour to fix that as soon as I can.

  4. Pingback: WebWord » Blog Archive » Architectures of Control in Design

  5. It’s working now. 24 hours ago it was consistently b0rked (as in, refreshing and other things to make the browser redo page layout didn’t fix it). Good job fixing it quickly. 🙂

Comments are closed.