Thursday
Apr152010

Satisfy the Cat, a.k.a. User-Centered Design  

This video explains the importance of user experience design. Nuff said.

Thursday
Apr012010

Loving the visual design system for WIND Mobile

Passed the store for a new mobile service up here in Toronto and was compelled to go in because their branding was so fresh and clean. I walked out with a brochure and a head full of ideas--excited to bring it back to my teammates at @housepartyinc

Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from tomcdaly's posterous

Thursday
Apr012010

Impressive floor map system in a mall

Both beautiful and useful, this is an excellent example of designing for people. Nice color play and a perfect visual hierarchy makes it a breeze to find things.

Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from tomcdaly's posterous

Thursday
Mar182010

Add Some XBox to Your User Experience



Add Some XBox to Your User Experience
Josh Knowles  |  auscillate.com  | @chasing  |  chasing@spaceship.com

OVERVIEW
This was one of the most compelling sessions I attended at #sxswi. Josh was dynamic and obviously passionate about what he does, and equally passionate about sharing his experience with others. I left this session with a head full of ideas to apply to the House Party user experience.


- MO7
- phoneplay#  gophoneplay.com
m.oji.to (personal projects)

HOW DO I GET A USER TO TAKE ACTION?

    ⁃    UX research out there is DRY (Nielsen is example)
    ⁃    not just excuse to add bells and whistles
    ⁃    Million's Poet (popular mid east game show)
    ⁃    Toyota Prius "efficiency leaves" on dashboard

LOOK TO GAME DESIGN FOR INSPIRATION

    ⁃    apply rules to actions (soccer)
    ⁃    NEED rules applied to useless actions to make it a meaningful experience
    ⁃    Galaxy Zoo, solarstormwatch.com - make a game out of doing scientific mundane tasks (crowdsourcing)
    ⁃    Waze (community built + managed traffic & directions
    ⁃    google image labeler
    ⁃    Slashdot - Karma levels unlock more robust features/levels
    ⁃    uses Achievements that are unlocked
    ⁃    GOAL: maintain content quality, relevancy
    ⁃    reddit, digg
    ⁃    Stack Overflow: Q/A site
    ⁃    badging
    ⁃    reputation points
    ⁃    (at 100pts you can vote down)
    ⁃    at 200pts users see less advertising
    ⁃    500+ you can delete posts
    ⁃    TheSixtyOne.com
    ⁃    music site with sparse interface
    ⁃    uses game mechanism of "quest" to teach first time users how the interface works while building value for community & user
    ⁃    start with 10 Hearts, distribute them
    ⁃    Foursquare | Gowalla | MyTown
    ⁃    gives users sense of ownership
    ⁃    badges are vague, users assign their own meaning to them
    ⁃    surprises!

POINTS
can be:
    ⁃    real $$$
    ⁃    fake $$$
    ⁃    reputation (badges, levels, points)
    ⁃    Quantify behavior
    ⁃    profile completion (linkedin)
    ⁃    MUST be understandable, rules can't change
    ⁃    points MUST map to importance of actions

BADGES & REPUTATION

    ⁃    guides users through site
    ⁃    give them  a way to express their personality (visual evidence of their tastes, prefs etc.)

UNLOCKABLES

    ⁃    the more time spent on site, or more activity unlocks more options, levels, etc.
    ⁃    reward user for sticking around
    ⁃    Unlockable types
    ⁃    Individual
    ⁃    more options become available to the user
    ⁃    Global
    ⁃    the app itself changes as a whole for all users, the entire network benefits

BEYOND

    ⁃    look to board games for inspiration
    ⁃    you only have a few seconds to "catch" new users

USE GAMES TO TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO USE SOMETHING

GIVE A GIFT, MAKES USER FEEL BETTER, IMPROVES CREATIVITY AND THINKING ABILITIES (proven by research)

PITFALLS

    ⁃    don't distract users from what's most important


Tuesday
Mar162010

#SXSWi Gaming the Crowd: Turning Work Into Play

Gaming the Crowd: Turning Work Into Play
 sun 11am

#gamingthecrowd
Andy Baio, CEO of Kickstarter
kickstarter.com
andy@waxy.org


showing ex. of Quest for the Crown (funny old game)

Marathon Game example, two finger tapping, showing example of the reward not worth the effort

Upgrade Complete (Game) - not sure if this is totally a joke!

Achievement Unlocked - example of gratiuitous achievement for any useless action taken (again, think he created these to make a point?)

:: METAGAMES

Amazon Mechanical Turk (crowdsourcing platform to get tasks done, transcription, data visualization)
Why people Turk? making money (really interesting)


SOCIAL WEB = MMO (Massive multiplayer Online game)

WORK - making a game out of cashier's activity. simply showing cashier's stats to them changes their bahavioir (Dennis Crowley)

Obama campaign used game mechanics in the Neighbor to Neighbor program

Honda/Toyota - dashboard visualization - leaves grow on interface the more energy you save by driving

SELF-IMPROVEMENT
marathons, competitions

JOURNALISM
crowd sourced review of documentation of MP's expenses. public reviewed for suspicious charges etc.
used leaderboard to give feedback on who uncovered what

KICKSTARTER
fundraising site... all or nothing

METAGAMES
how to make app feel more game-like
- feedback
- recognition
- goals
- community


***Ribbon Hero (microsoft office game) Metagame that runs on top of office suite, pretty sick!
- work/excel/powerpoint that are bloated interfaces
- dashboard showing score/stats/progress
- surprised how cool the activity feedback graphics/animations (balloons floating up from bottom when doing something correctly)

** MUST be very careful about the reputation you make visible. community will assign meaning to whatever you make visible!!!
GAME THE SYSTEM by focusing on one data point like # of followers, # of fans
Can be very hard to remove



--
Leaderboards are VERY tricky. DO NOT DO A LEADERBOARD
creates competitive atmosph for active and makes the rest feel left out

beware of alienating people



TUMBLR
sweeeeet dashboard data viz
removed their tumblocity stats because they saw it was devaluing the experience, focused too much on the negative
beware of making people feel like if they're not in the top 100 you're worthless

Metafilter - removed a data point and got major backlash from users (#of favorited comments was removed)


CHEATING
- gaming the system by checking in to locations as phony users
- incentives invite use

Stackoverflow
is cheating a big problem? no, they've aligned the desired behavior so tightly with the rewards for those activities

For mundane tasks, having a metagame is NOT ENOUGH.

Flat learning curve, easy to learn + master.

Grinding = time investment to learn something


CrewX360a
- #3 ranked xbox gamer in the world. Plays terrible games, anything to get her score high. useless behavior

VVVVV - impossibly hard game
died over 300 times just to get a token, but never got it!!


*****
Jesse Schell - Dr. Pepper slide
future with everything trackable w/ assigned points
*****

Why are we using game mechanics, and what is our responsibility? Do we let people know we're trying to hack their brains?? (great question)

BOOKs: Web Reputation Systems  http://www.amazon.com/Building-Reputation-Systems-Randy-Farmer/dp/059615979X/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1268584987&sr=1-1-fkmr1

Amy Jo Kim

The Art of Game Design - Jesse Schell
http://www.amazon.com/Art-Game-Design-book-lenses/dp/0123694965


----


Panic.com/blog !!!!!!
Company performance Dashboard... changed behavior of employees

he's tearing Swoopo.com apart!!! bad experience...