Delightful experiences

March 26, 2015

A great app, a beautiful device, an outstanding service, a solid brand; all of them have something in common: You experience them in ways that you didn’t anticipate. You were not expecting the joy they brought. You were surprised. You were delighted by unexpected rewards or behaviors that burned a long lasting impression into your brain, and possibly your heart. The app or service satisfied your functional/usable/reliable expectations, and suddenly you discovered the pleasurable layer. It just… happened. But what about the prolonged use of these apps or services? As a product designer, how do you ensure recurrent delight?

1. Bring fun to users

  • By putting care and detail into micro interactions.
  • By giving respect to something that doesn’t “deserve” it.
  • By creating an “Elastic” and “it’s alive!” environment.

2. Guide users

  • By anticipating where they’re going to go, and showing them the way.
  • By letting them take a sneak peak at what’s gonna happen next.
  • By providing a natural ‘escape’ route at any given moment.

3. Relax users

  • By clearing all the clutter from the screen and letting them focus on one important element at a time.
  • By introducing moments for them to reflect, assimilate content, and breathe.
  • By protecting their work from errors caused by [x].

4. Inform users

  • By acknowledging when their actions have an immediate, mid term or long term consequence.
  • By letting them know when something is about to disrupt them.
  • By showing precise, but BRIEF instructions for complex scenarios.

5. Reward users

  • By explicitly acknowledging them how good they did and what it means for their long term goals.
  • By giving them badges for frequency of use, duration of study sessions, and performance.
  • By keeping track of achievements and placing it on a clear roadmap.

6. Punish users

  • By blocking them from moving forward if their performance falls below a tolerance level.
  • By informing them of wrongful choices and actions on the spot, rather than on a summary moment.
  • By keeping all negative remarks in a confidential, private space, visible and acknowledgeable for the user only.

Mauricio Estrella: 6 principles for designing trustworthy learning experiences.

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