SGA 1: Sekret Project Revealed

Over the last 18 months or so, I’ve been drawing a few disparate threads together and coming to some interesting points of insight.
One of these threads is how our social conscience interacts with our motivation.
Yesterday’s blog post was basically a big encouragement to go see Inconvenient Truth. Countless people have been to see it and been inspired and motivated. And yet I can say with great confidence that only a small percentage will have acted on that inspiration and actually done something concrete in their lives.
The heart is there, the mind is there, but somehow the action never quite materialises. It’s just our nature, part of our fallible existence as human beings. But it’s kind of sad, to think that we just sit back complacent as our world actually, literally, starts to collapse.
(I’m no different, by the way. This isn’t preaching. Much of what follows came from observing the self as much as observing the world.)
Somewhere along the line, I started approaching this behaviour from a usability perspective. I’m hardly a usability expert, but I have a serious interest in it, and I’ve taught myself a thing or two over the years. And the principles are powerful. Essentially, they state that we (human beings) are incredibly responsive to our environment and to situational cues. If you design a better interface, you get better interactions, and everyone leaves happier.
For example, consider a website. If you have to scroll to see something important, that’s not very usable. If there are so many links on the page that it takes forever to find the one you want, that’s not very usable.
Also consider paper forms (man, some of the bank forms I’ve encountered are almost incomprehensible), textbooks (laying out your information for easy indexing and learning), remote controls (what the heck do these buttons do again?)…
So, applying the usability principles, a question emerges. We observe social conscience; we observe lack of action. What is interfering with the expression of the first through the second? And, can elements of the situation be altered to make action more likely?
I think so.
The sekret project is a technique for turning the worthy sentiments of busy people into concrete and worthwhile results. I call it “Small Group Action”.