4 Building Blocks of Amazing Products

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4 Building Blocks of Amazing Products

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Why some products take off while others, that seem as good, utterly fail?

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There are of course many reasons, and luck takes a huge role in the success or failure.

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However, analyzing many successful games and products,

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There seem to be 4 elements that keep recurring.

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1. 2. 3. 4. Social Engagement Curiosity Clear Visual Feedback A Path to Mastery

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Hi, I’m Dori Adar. I design games and write about behavioural design www.DoriAdar.com And here’s the gist: @ Dori Adar

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Social Engagement

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Adding that crucial social layer to a product is a true make or break.

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Camera + filters = awesome app.

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Camera + filters + social = $1B exit

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Most of today’s successful products are social. You know that.

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However I’d like to shed light on a social aspect that is rarely used: co-op.

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Some games allow players to play together.

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World of Warcraft (WOW), the popular multiplayer game, allows its players to gather in guilds.

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Guild members can trade items and information with their colleagues,

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and can also be promoted by the guild’s founder to higher ranks, which grants them access to the guild’s resources.

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guild members are very engaged players, who have a better game experience than solo players.

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What can be done with co-op in non-game products, you ask?

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Affiliate programs are co-op by nature. Take Uber’s for example.

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When a friend signs up to Uber with my code, we both get $20 coupons.

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That’s sweet, but Co-op can also be a fun thing, not just a matter of affiliation.

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Buying, studying, training… Many things are more fun when you’re cooperating with friends.

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Can your product enhance it?

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Do this now: Discover co-op opportunities in your product, or in products that you use.

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A curious user is an engaged user.

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One of the best ways to get users curious is by hooking them with a mystery.

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If you’ve ever watched a bad TV show just to know how it ends,

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You know exactly what I’m talking about.

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Games use this tactic a lot, notably story-based games, like TellTale’s The Walking Dead series.

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This game hooks users on its first scene.

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However, curiosity can be created outside of mysteries and stories as well.

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The essence of curiosity is gaps of knowledge. But not every gap is interesting.

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Which notification is more appealing to you? 1 (Shazam) CHART: There’s a new #1! 2 (LinkedIn) People are looking at your LinkedIn profile!

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Both notifications pose a gap of knowledge, however LinkedIn’s is more effective.

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People are interested in topics that concern themselves,

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And LinkedIn, Facebook, Snapchat and many other services are based around that notion.

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Another example is Airbnb’s “handshake review” model, that never fails to get users curious.

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If you’ve ever used Airbnb, chances are that someone (your host), had left a review about you.

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To see it, you will have to leave a counter review. Or in the words of Airbnb:

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“(Your Host) has left you a review. To read it, please leave a review for your host.”

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A gap of knowledge is created, and the curious user will behave as intended and leave a counter review to fill the gap.

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Do this now: How can you create gaps of knowledge in your users?

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Visual Feedback

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Games are all about visual feedback to indicate progress.

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Timer Power Bar Special ability

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Apps and web products should constantly provide visual feedback as well.

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When Harry’s, a shaving products company, was getting ready to launch their product,

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They needed to get as many email addresses as possible.

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They came up with a pretty common affiliate program:

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Users would get their friends sign up, and get free products in return.

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What was uncommon about this program, is how they communicated progress to their affiliates.

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Every user had a dashboard

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Progress was clear, thus motivating. Progress Bar The next prize Numeric count

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By being concrete and visual, Harry’s got 100,000 email addresses in a week.

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As a rule, every process whatsoever, whether it’s onboarding, form, survey or affiliate program,

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Would perform better given the right visual feedback.

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Makes sense, right? You’d be amazed how much this is overlooked.

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Do this now: Where can you add a concrete visual feedback in your app?

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A Path to Mastery Path to Mastery

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The beautiful thing about games is that they let players get good at them.

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Players progress, and a big chunk of the fun is to master the game.

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Non-game products should give opportunities for mastery as well.

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Another example from Airbnb, this time, the “Super Hosts” program.

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Airbnb allows users to become Super Hosts if they meet certain criteria,

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Like getting ten 5 star reviews and maintaining a quick response rate.

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For starters, see how beautifully the goals and progress are communicated.

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Second, everyone benefits from this program. Airbnb gets more loyal and better hosts,

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And hosts can achieve mastery and receive the perks that goes with it.

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Do this now: Find ways to allow users to become masters in your product.

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Social engagement (look for co-op) Curiosity (self interest works best) Visual feedback (Communicate progression!) Path to mastery (let your users shine!)

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Share those 4 building blocks for great products! DoriAdar.com

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