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Understanding the user who isn't you

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We’re all conscious of the ways the internet has changed things we do things day-to-day, from keeping in touch with friends and collaborating at work to finding information, planning our lives and shopping. The press is full of anecdotes about the unexpected effects of using the internet. Here are a few

  • a study by University College London found that people with chronic illnesses who consulted health information on the web tended to have worse health outcomes than those who didn’t, possibly because they made their own treatment decisions rather than take doctors’ advice
  • eBay users who search for items using misspellings (e.g. ‘dimond’ rather than ‘diamond’) sometimes find bargains that others using correct spellings have missed.
  • a tragic, New York, murder case was solved through the blog of one of the victims who described the visit of his sister’s ex-boyfriend, who then murdered the blogger and his sister.