Session 1: Long After The Thrill (Sustaining Passionate Users)

Stephen Anderson, @stephenanderson

This was also in my top 3 sessions of SXSWi.  Throughout SXSW, you definitely noticed a theme amongst the various sessions which were: “gamification” (e.g. think Foursquare) and “social media”.  His session was perfect for the last day to explain more of the underlying psychology as to the theory of what, why and how game theory should be incorporated for successful sites or apps.  The best part is that he made his slides available on slideshare:

How do we get people to fall in love with our applications?

  • How do we get people to stay in love with our applications?
  • By making more gamelike? – > Theme of SXSW
  • It’s about motivating human, not consumer behavior
  • You must understand psychology, not game mechanics.

Sustaining passionate users… through delightful challenges

Attitudes (Think about how teachers approach school subjects)

  1. “Apply Yourself” – Boring subject, must apply yourself to get something out of it
  2. “Sugar Coating” – Add layer of fun to boring subject, core activity
  3. “Stuff is Interesting” – Going to show you why important but first, a challenge for you

Exercise: Think of mundane activity.  Now think of any game (video, board, card, etc).

  • Why does this game work?
  • What would this activity look like with a game’s characteristics?
  • See design from different perspectives
  • Move beyond “points & badges”

Example 1: Old Navy

  • Hid coupon codes in easter eggs throughout website.
  • Compelled user to click on many different areas throughout the site
  • Once found coupon, user was given choice to keep that code or could continue looking for other ones in hopes it would find a better one

Example 2: Site made registration time a game -> Fastest time to register was 16 seconds

Set Completion

  • As we get closer to completing a set, we have a higher compulsion to complete the set

Performance goals (Getting an A in French) vs. Learning challenges (Learning French)

How do you identify core challenges?

  • 5 Whys
  • After you peel back the layers, you find very interesting stuff


  • Standing relative to personal best, not just against others
  • Shows up in games
  • Example: Gowalla (checkins this week vs. last week)

(Play & Challenges) + (Goals & Rewards) = Game

Feedback Loop

  • Example: Digital speed limit signs -> Tend to immediately slow down
  • Simple triggers to change behavior

Attaching a measure to anything makes it a game ***

Translate feedback loop -> Don’t just leave with a number

Example: OKCupid

  • Questions produces a “personality report”
  • People keep coming back because as they answer questions, do more actions, they learn more about themselves

Rewards motivate people with more rewards

(Most) games eventually end

Sustaining passionate users… takes more than delightful experiences

What and why use services/app for last 3 years?

Providing a service that is trustworthy and of value***

Kano Model

Social Proof


Look for the game already in activity

Focus on intrinsic motivators


Session 2: Beyond Wordclouds: Analyzing Trends with Social Media APIs

Chris Busse, @busse

In this session, the speaker essentially walked everyone through how you easily parse through the twitter API to get a lot of useful insights.

APIs are the bridge between systems

Build to be minimally independent of API platform -> Get the data out and save it

Automate – >Set script for regular intervals (hourly) and save

Tweet + CRM Data = Social CRM

There’s no such thing as social media campaign -> Once you’re in it, you’re in it for the long haul

Example: “coffee” in 2 day interval in Austin

  • over 100,000 tweets
  • slice by “coffee” and “I’m at”
  • most popular places by checkins
  • when does Austin get coffee based on checkin times
  • who tweeted (customer demographics)

Import data in CSV, then use PowerPoint


Session 3: Keynote: Blake Mycoskie (Toms Shoes)

1) Build giving into your business

2) If you build giving in, you don’t have to do marketing

  • Build the most loyal customers and employees who will spread your business


Session 4: Steve Krug Explains It All For You

Steve Krug (author of “Don’t Make Me Think” and “Rocket Surgery Made Easy”), @skrug

Most sites don’t get tested

  • $$$
  • Time
  • Even if there was enough money, there aren’t enough professionals

Do-it-yourself usability testing

  • 3 users per round
  • 3 should be plenty since you’ll be doing it again in a month
  • You’ll find more problems than you can fix
  • No lab or mirrors
  • Set up monitor so development team can watch
  • No elaborate recruiting
  • Recruit loosely and grade on a curve
  • Record with Camtasia/Morae/CamStudio
  • No stats, no exit questions, no faux validity
  • No big report – > Debrief over lunch

Download usability test script for website – > Read verbatum

Complete demo online:

Works best small groups within development cyle

“What are you thinking?” – Can never ask enough

  • Start earlier than what you think makes sense (Test competitors/comparables/same kind of design/functionality)
  • Recruit loosely and grade on a curve
  • Make it a spectator sport
  • Focus ruthlessly on a small number of the most important problems (What resources do we have to allocate?)
  • When fixing problems, always do the least you can do

Your motto should be…

  • What’s the smallest change we can make that we think might solve the observed problem?
  • Tweak, don’t redesign




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