This one is not so easily excerptable, but it’s one of the best pieces-with-graphics I’ve seen all year. It’s about all the “nudge” tricks which go into designing menus, and how to avoid being fooled by them.
You really do need the image with it (best is to buy the New York issue), but if you insist on an excerpt, here’s one:
5. Columns Are Killers
According to Brandon O’Dell, one of the consultants Poundstone quotes in Priceless, it’s a big mistake to list prices in a straight column. “Customers will go down and choose from the cheapest items,” he says. At least the Balthazar menu doesn’t use leader dots to connect the dish to the price; that draws the diner’s gaze right to the numbers. Consultant Gregg Rapp tells clients to “omit dollar signs, decimal points, and cents?…?It’s not that customers can’t check prices, but most will follow whatever subtle cues are provided.”