“When we add sensors to the world around us (e.g., beings, places, objects, environments), we grant these things a voice through the data they generate simply by existing.”

Altimeter Group

As a UX researcher, I’m constantly surprised by anthropomorphism. I shouldn’t be. There is a large body of research showing that people subconsciously apply the same standards of politeness, gender stereotypes, teamwork, reciprocity and more to digital devices as they do to people. If we’re unfamiliar with a device, especially if it does something unexpected, we usually default to treating it like a living being. I, for one, tend to talk to my laptop when it is slow to load, telling it to “wakey-wakey.” …


Christiane Erwin

User Experience Director, marketing strategist, startup adviser, public speaker, founder. UX Lead at Schwab. My thoughts and writings are my own.

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