#sxsw recap: tools & inspiration by ryan davidson

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A recap of interesting SXSW sessions by Ryan Davidson including Age of The Alchemist: D&D and User Experience Nano Size Me: The Science of Small Talk Transformational Design: Beyond UX Mastering Interactive Development Lingo Follow Ryan on Twitter: @discorax


  • SXSW 2014 Tools and Inspiration Ryan Davidson Technical Director @Discorax

  • Octalysis by Yu-kai Chou

    Key Takeaway: There are tools available to analyze your game/app/site to optimize the User Experience to be most effective. Note: I did not say most fun.

    The 8 Core Drivers of Gamification Left Brain vs Right Brain Drivers White Hat vs Black Hat Gamification http://www.yukaichou.com/gamification-examples/octalysis-complete-gamification-framework/ Also read about how to build habits in a multi-device world. http://www.nirandfar.com/2014/03/multi-device.html


    PresenterPresentation NotesThe 8 Core Drives of Gamification1)Epic Meaning& CallingThis is the Core Drive where a player believes that he is doing something greater than himself or he was chosen to play. An symptom of this is a player that devotes a lot of his time to maintaining a forum or helping to create things for the entire community (think Wikipedia or Open Source projects). This also comes into play when someone has Beginners Luck an effect where people believe they have some type of gift that others dont or believe they were lucky to get that amazing sword at the very beginning of the game.2) Development &AccomplishmentThis is the internal drive of making progress, developing skills, and eventually overcoming challenges. The word challenge here is very important as a badge or trophy without a challenge is not meaningful at all. People often ask me what Core Drive Google has used to become so successful I would say that Google makes you feel smart and accomplished within seconds (On the other hand, Yahoo does not, but appeals to the Core Drive #7: Curiosity). This is also the core drive that is the easiest to design for and coincidently is where most of the PBLs: points, badges, leaderboards mostly focus on.3)Empowermentof Creativity & FeedbackThis is when users are addicted to a creative process where they have to repeatedly figure things out and try different combinations. People not only need ways to express their creativity, but they need to be able to see the results of their creativity, receive feedback, and respond in turn. This is why playing with Legos and painting are fun in-and-of themselves (intrinsic motivation) and often become Evergreen Mechanics (a good state for Gamification).4)Ownership& PossessionThis is the drive to want something. When a player feels ownership, she innately wants to make what she owns better and own even more. If you feel ownership over your job, you will work harder. If you want ownership over the digital sheep, you will harass your friends. This is the driving force behind all virtual goods and collection games.5)Social Influence& RelatednessThis drive incorporates all the social elements that drive people including: mentorship, acceptance, social responses, companionship, as well ascompetitionand envy. When you see a friend that is amazing at some skill or owns something extraordinary, you become driven to reach the same level. Also, it includes the drive we have to draw closer to people, places, or events that we can relate to.6)Scarcity& ImpatienceThis is the drive of wanting something because you cant have it. Many games have Appointment Dynamics within them (come back 2 hours later to get your stuff) the fact that people cant get something NOW motivates them to think about it all day long. In the early days of Twitter, the service kept going down due to bad infrastructure (thats how the Fail Whale became so famous). However, BECAUSE people couldnt use Twitter when they wanted to, they wanted to use it even more. When it came back up they rushed to tweet before it went back down. That was also the secret ofCartmanlands success.7) Curiosity &UnpredictabilityGenerally, this is a harmless drive of wanting to find out what actually happens. Many people watch movies or read novels solely because of this drive. However, this drive is also the primary factor behind Gambling addiction.Researchershave shown that people irrationally want to see whats next if there is a chance of a positive outcome even when they know it will most likely be a negative. The very controversial Skinner Box experiments are usually referring to this drive though (but many people get it mixed up and claim that earning points is like putting people into aSkinner Box).8) Loss &AvoidanceThis drive is based upon the avoidance of something negative happening. On a small scale, it could be to avoid losing previous work. On a larger scale, it could be to avoid admitting that everything you did up to this point was useless because you are now quitting. Also, opportunities that are fading away has a strong utilization of this Core Drive, because people feel like if they didnt act, they would lose the opportunity to do something forever.

  • Age of the Alchemist: D&D and User Experience

    Lets start with a question Why would someone use a Role Playing Game to help them create a marketing campaign?

    The answer because at the core, RPGs and Experience Design have the same goals. Look at the image. Both strive to create opportunity for users to engage in an experience that is fun and memorable. RPGs are personal. This is also why gamification is such a popular method of user engagement. This all starts with a spreadsheet

    Age of the Alchemist is created and presented by Vincent Higgins and Tyler Wilson from DDB California http://schedule.sxsw.com/2014/events/event_IAP24635

  • Age of the Alchemist: D&D and User Experience

    Creating Personas We all know that personas help guide our creative approaches, but how can we adjust for the variety of real life? The answer is market research and dice. Market percentages can be assigned to dice values and then rolled to instill a variety of real variables into your personas. This eliminates bias you bring to personas. Creating the character as a team also helps you relate to your persona from various perspectives as you would a character in a game. Different agencies see users differently. These personas can embody these differences if created together as a team.

    Tip: always narrate your personas story. Give them a background and depth.

    Tip: Sometimes you cant relate to a persona. Dont force it, let someone who can drive the story.

  • Age of the Alchemist: D&D and User Experience

    Embrace the funnel: Building the Dungeon Your game can use some or all levels of the funnel. Awareness/Inspiration (mass media, user motivation) Consideration/Interest (consumer behavior) Conversion/Intent (brand-initiated communication)

    Each level has a series of rooms. Entering a room triggers an event. Events are based on Use Cases pulled from your market research. The goal is to get your persona through the dungeon (advertisement and noise of everyday life) to a conversion (sale).

  • Age of the Alchemist: D&D and User Experience

    Gathering the insights As you play through the scenarios in different levels of interest, the game mechanic throws random (but real) use cases at your character. You use these scenarios to gain insights you may have overlooked and help team members see the users perspective differently.

    For Example: Your persona has a preference for winter vacations. They receive advertising for summer sale from a competitor. Do they have enough constitution to overcome that and move on toward a conversion on your product? If not, maybe you need to adjust your creative to account for that. See what just happened? Now imagine hundreds of those insights being gathered in a matter of hours. This is a powerful tool, driven by real data. Oh yeah, and its A GAME! The whole team is having fun and engaged throughout the process.

  • Age of the Alchemist: D&D and User Experience

    Valuable? Consider how often teams approach a marketing challenge from their own narrow discipline (account manager, art director, content creator, developer, producer, etc). The playing of this game can bring all of the expertise to the table (pun intended) at once and help build a holistic approach to User Experience that is grounded in REAL DATA!

    Key Takeaways: When you start with the right set of market research, you can gain incredible insight quickly and get your entire team fully engaged in solving complex problems by treating User Experience and the creative process like a game. Now break out your D20 and lets get started!

  • Nano Size Me: The Science of Small Talk

    Key Takeaway: The future of data is trust. Regardless of devices, experiences, or ownership, the relationship between a brand/company/government and a person hinges on trust. Note: the brand is part of the conversation again.

    Re: Data Privacy Concerns Some panelists felt like data concerns were generational, and well grow out of them. Others think that people dont like to be surprised regardless of age, and I agree. People want transparency into data about them. They want to know how its being used and to curate if necessary.

    The Opportunity: Users know companies have data about them. Users want access so they can put it to good use themselves. To make behavioral changes (Fitbit, shopping habits, geodata) or to delete parts they dont want shared.


  • Transformational Design: Beyond UX

    Key Takeaway: Experience is[Feeling] what we are [Doing] with/in the [Material] Design isRearranging materials to transform experience.

    So.What is Transformational Design? Its the moment when the experience is changed as a result of what youve designed. Client comes with a problem

    Dont think about the final solution at the outset, think about the experience. Thats how you innovate.