In the BrandRepublic post ‘Forget Behavioural Economics, now it’s Ergopsychonomics’ Chris Arnold makes a portmanteau of ergonomics and pyschology as a means to talk about the connection between the objects we use and how to think about them. Yet, one poster challenges Arnold: why can’t we just call this HCI?
Meanwhile, over at Fastcodesign, Tucker Veirmeister uses the word psychonomics to say the same thing. Still, as commenters point out, the word is hardly new as it’s been in use by psychologists since 1959.
I’d say the lesson to come out of this is that when it comes to making up words, with great power comes great responsibility. Last year we started hearing the word skeuomorphic a lot in regards to unnecessarily analogue iPad apps. However, the term is well established and hasn’t changed . On the other hand, Don Norman conflating JJ Gibson’s ‘perceived affordances’ with ‘affordances’ has caused confusion that he’s spent the following decades ironing out. And gamification is not the same as badgeification (as even the head of Zynga points out).