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The Dark Side: The Grandma Scam A conceptual captology design by Kara Blond and Josie Chou Design Challenge To conceptually design a persuasive technology that has questionable motives, intents, means or outcomes. The Gram Scam Persuasive Purpose

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The Dark Side: The Grandma Scam

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The dark side the grandma scam l.jpg

The Dark Side:The Grandma Scam

A conceptual captology design by

Kara Blond and Josie Chou

Design Challenge

To conceptually design a persuasive technology that has questionable motives, intents, means or outcomes.

Stanford University, Spring 2002

Ed 225xs “Persuasive Technologies and Education”

www.captology.org


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The Gram Scam

Persuasive Purpose

To convince elderly computer users to unwittingly sign up for a pay Internet service by preying on their lack of experience with computers and inability to read small, complicated print

Industrial Design

CLICK TOSEND EMAIL!

Stanford University, Spring 2002

Ed 225xs “Persuasive Technologies and Education”

www.captology.org


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User Description

  • Elderly, just purchased new computers

  • Retired, eager to establish social contact

  • Want to keep in touch with grandchildren or other family by email

  • Lack of knowledge about computer use

  • Inability to read/understand small print

Stanford University, Spring 2002

Ed 225xs “Persuasive Technologies and Education”

www.captology.org


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Prototype of Gram Scam

I AGREE, GO TO EMAIL.

GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONSINTRODUCTION AND TABLE OF CONTENTSWelcome to the Gram Scam, a for-profit Internet service, which charges $25 per month for unlimited access to the Web. The Network is currently one of the most visited hubs on the Internet. The Lycos Network provides leading Web search and navigation, communications and personalization tools, great massively-multiplayer real-time games with cash prizes, homepage building and Web community services, a cutting-edge shopping center and more. Integrated, these sites help each individual user locate, retrieve and manage information tailored to his or her personal interests. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, any new Products and Services (as defined below), including the addition of new Lycos Network properties shall be subject to these Terms and Conditions. Lycos makes available a variety of products and services through the Lycos Network (collectively, the "Products and Services") subject to these General Terms and Conditions ("Terms and Conditions"). In addition, there are a variety of special products and services offered through the Lycos Network that have separate registration procedures and separate terms and conditions, terms of service, user agreements, or similar legal agreement.

CLICK TOSEND EMAIL!

Stanford University, Spring 2002

Ed 225xs “Persuasive Technologies and Education”

www.captology.org


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Features/Functionality

  • Elderly computer users see the iconon the desktop and click to access the Internet

  • They are lured because the icon is obvious

  • They follow instructions and fill out the required address information

  • Terms and conditions are in very small text and complicated language – they can’t read them and don’t!

  • User receives a monthly bill in the mail for registering with the Grandma Scam!

Stanford University, Spring 2002

Ed 225xs “Persuasive Technologies and Education”

www.captology.org


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Theoretical Justifications

  • Use flattery and support (“you’re doing great… now just fill out this form”) to encourage behavior

  • Use fancy animated graphics and small font size

  • Takes advantage of poor eyesight and technical understanding of the elderly

  • Social proof: my children and grandchildren are doing it (I can do it too!)

  • Finance concerned: Free email access is attractive

Stanford University, Spring 2002

Ed 225xs “Persuasive Technologies and Education”

www.captology.org


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Expansion

  • Other form factors or ID possibilities

    • Door-to-door technology consultants to help construct Grandma Scan without charge so that the elderly think it obligated to pay the monthly fees

    • E-conferencing function so that the elderly users will be able to see their children and grandchildren

    • Save money strategy: on-line communication is cheaper than long distance (international) phone calls

    • Send out coupons via mail by collecting the users’ information

Stanford University, Spring 2002

Ed 225xs “Persuasive Technologies and Education”

www.captology.org


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