SXSW Day 4 – UX, User Engagement with Gaming, Felicia Day Keynote

by Troy Grosfield
March 15th, 2011

5 Steps to Bulletproof UX Strategy

5 Steps to Bulletproof UX Strategy

5 Steps to Bulletproof UX Strategy

The 5 steps to UX:

  1. measure – use analytics in your site to learn about your users.  Are you users coming to content pages?  Are they leaving after the first page they view (bounce rate)?  What devices are your users using?  Is there a big demand for mobile?  If yes, do you have a mobile site?
  2. implement – work closely with the people building your site.  Don’t implement changes without design.
  3. plan – identify the problems.  How many resource do you have to solve the problems?  How do you solve the problems?  Talk to your end users.  What do they want?  Make sure what you’re building is in an attempt to solve the problem.  Every step forward should be in an attempt to solve the underlying problem.
  4. vision – a successful user experience is born from a strong vision communicated well.  What’s your story?  What is ‘this’?  Why does it matter to people?
  5. audit – this is when the product/site already exists.  What are the problems?  What are the road blocks from people doing what we want them to do?

People take took long to say “let’s take a step back”.  Usually this get’s asked after a partial, unsuccessful implementation attempt.  Make sure everyone in the project can answer the “why are we doing this” question.

This session was in one of the largest ballrooms and was packed.  Not many open seats left.

Game On: 16 Design Patterns for User Engagement

Nadya Direkova

Nadya Direkova

Nadya Direkova, Sr. Designer at Google, talks about how had a 200% increase in user registration after launching trophies.  Users love receiving social status.  They are naturally attracted to competition and want to win.  This causes the user to continue to come return to your site and view more pages (decreased bounce rate).

Use game mechanics for user engagement, brand loyalty, and brand awareness.

Make user responsive objects.  For example, when a child clicks on an object have the object respond with some type of visual stimulation.  Such as the sky changing colors, or the object jumping, or exploding.

Careful using disincentives.  One site used for test preparation used negative points at one point which discouraged users to use the site.

User engagement increases when you get friends involved.  Gowalla noted that people who have more than 5 friends to follow have more user engagement.  Their friends also work as 1st tier support.  Friends will help you use the site/app.

It’s a very interesting session around user psychology and how to get a user to alter user behavior with your site.  Example, use “thanks” instead of “comment”.  The user is more likely to leave a “comment” by saying “thanks” because they feel like they are saying something nice to the author.

Make sure your game mechanics are measurable.  Need a dashboard both for the end user and for the site developer.

Very good presenter, very good session content!  Well done Nadya!

Keynote: Felicia Day

Felicia Day Keynote

Felicia Day Keynote

Felicia was an avid online video gamer who one day decided to drop the habit.  She knew she needed to get a new habit so she decided to create movies about video gameish movies where she’s the main actor.

She originally created a movie script and pitched it to Hollywood, but they didn’t understand it and told her to rewrite it.  She didn’t want to so she started creating the videos herself and posted online for free.

One way of generating money for her once-a-month movie releases was to ask people to donate.  Enough people continued to donate to keep the show going.

Better Living Through Cloud Computing

John Wiley from Google talks about all the different applications living in the web.  Apps such at sliderocket and google docs.  It’s transforming application that traditionally live on the desktop and moving the functionality to the cloud.  This allows you to work on your applications from anywhere.

One fundamental flaw with desktop apps is that you have to almost always have to have your device with you that your application is on to be able to use the app.  Cloud computing solves this problem.

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