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4 Building Blocks of Amazing Products
Why some products take off while others, that seem as good, utterly fail?
There are of course many reasons, and luck takes a huge role in the success or failure.
However, analyzing many successful games and products,
There seem to be 4 elements that keep recurring.
1. 2. 3. 4. Social Engagement Curiosity Clear Visual Feedback A Path to Mastery
Hi, I’m Dori Adar. I design games and write about behavioural design www.DoriAdar.com And here’s the gist: @ Dori Adar
Adding that crucial social layer to a product is a true make or break.
Camera + filters = awesome app.
Camera + filters + social = $1B exit
Most of today’s successful products are social. You know that.
However I’d like to shed light on a social aspect that is rarely used: co-op.
Some games allow players to play together.
World of Warcraft (WOW), the popular multiplayer game, allows its players to gather in guilds.
Guild members can trade items and information with their colleagues,
and can also be promoted by the guild’s founder to higher ranks, which grants them access to the guild’s resources.
guild members are very engaged players, who have a better game experience than solo players.
What can be done with co-op in non-game products, you ask?
Affiliate programs are co-op by nature. Take Uber’s for example.
When a friend signs up to Uber with my code, we both get $20 coupons.
That’s sweet, but Co-op can also be a fun thing, not just a matter of affiliation.
Buying, studying, training… Many things are more fun when you’re cooperating with friends.
Can your product enhance it?
Do this now: Discover co-op opportunities in your product, or in products that you use.
A curious user is an engaged user.
One of the best ways to get users curious is by hooking them with a mystery.
If you’ve ever watched a bad TV show just to know how it ends,
You know exactly what I’m talking about.
Games use this tactic a lot, notably story-based games, like TellTale’s The Walking Dead series.
This game hooks users on its first scene.
However, curiosity can be created outside of mysteries and stories as well.
The essence of curiosity is gaps of knowledge. But not every gap is interesting.
Which notification is more appealing to you? 1 (Shazam) CHART: There’s a new #1! 2 (LinkedIn) People are looking at your LinkedIn profile!
Both notifications pose a gap of knowledge, however LinkedIn’s is more effective.
People are interested in topics that concern themselves,
And LinkedIn, Facebook, Snapchat and many other services are based around that notion.
Another example is Airbnb’s “handshake review” model, that never fails to get users curious.
If you’ve ever used Airbnb, chances are that someone (your host), had left a review about you.
To see it, you will have to leave a counter review. Or in the words of Airbnb:
“(Your Host) has left you a review. To read it, please leave a review for your host.”
A gap of knowledge is created, and the curious user will behave as intended and leave a counter review to fill the gap.
Do this now: How can you create gaps of knowledge in your users?
Games are all about visual feedback to indicate progress.
Timer Power Bar Special ability
Apps and web products should constantly provide visual feedback as well.
When Harry’s, a shaving products company, was getting ready to launch their product,
They needed to get as many email addresses as possible.
They came up with a pretty common affiliate program:
Users would get their friends sign up, and get free products in return.
What was uncommon about this program, is how they communicated progress to their affiliates.
Every user had a dashboard
Progress was clear, thus motivating. Progress Bar The next prize Numeric count
By being concrete and visual, Harry’s got 100,000 email addresses in a week.
As a rule, every process whatsoever, whether it’s onboarding, form, survey or affiliate program,
Would perform better given the right visual feedback.
Makes sense, right? You’d be amazed how much this is overlooked.
Do this now: Where can you add a concrete visual feedback in your app?
A Path to Mastery Path to Mastery
The beautiful thing about games is that they let players get good at them.
Players progress, and a big chunk of the fun is to master the game.
Non-game products should give opportunities for mastery as well.
Another example from Airbnb, this time, the “Super Hosts” program.
Airbnb allows users to become Super Hosts if they meet certain criteria,
Like getting ten 5 star reviews and maintaining a quick response rate.
For starters, see how beautifully the goals and progress are communicated.
Second, everyone benefits from this program. Airbnb gets more loyal and better hosts,
And hosts can achieve mastery and receive the perks that goes with it.
Do this now: Find ways to allow users to become masters in your product.
Social engagement (look for co-op) Curiosity (self interest works best) Visual feedback (Communicate progression!) Path to mastery (let your users shine!)
Share those 4 building blocks for great products! DoriAdar.com