Monday, March 10, 2008

Kathy Sierra Returns

Kathy Sierra of the blog Creating Passionate Users, returned to SXSW after a tough year. Just after last year's conference, she received some graphic online threats which caused her an understandable amount of distress. She canceled some appearances and stopped blogging. It is terrifying to think that these are the things with which one has to deal online. She returned, however, and continued with her theme of optimism. Her thing is that we should help users, not make them feel stupid. I blogged after her keynote last year that I felt that I was "creating passionate users" in my students who often come to my Web Design classes with a feeling of trepidation. I have been mindful since then to emphasize their experience and make it as positive as possible. I think I have had some success in that.

So, this year, Sierra provided a list of things that you as a Web company or service or software product could do to better engage and enlist users.
  • Use telepathy - sense what they are feeling
  • Serendipity-add randomness
  • The Dog Ears design principle - add some physics to your design (iPhone bounce)
  • Create joy
  • Inspire 1st person language - this I found to be most interesting; don't just think of your customer blog as free advertising; they should be talking about themselves and their own experiences
  • T-shirt 1st development
  • Add Easter eggs and other surprises
  • Provide tools for evangelizing
  • You are a...
  • Exercise the brain
  • Give them superpowers quickly - love this one, too; get them doing something cool within 30 minutes
  • Speed knowledge of acquisition
  • Make product reflect their feelings
  • Help with reinvestment of mental resources
  • Create a culture of support
  • Do not insiste on "inclusivity"
  • Practice seductive opacity - add mystery
  • Atoms are not old skool
  • Do what this guy does - Gary Vaynerchuk of

Photos/video to come. Welcome back, Kathy!

1 comment:

Fazia Rizvi said...

I'm so glad to hear that's she's getting back into it all.