IDEA 2009: Social and Experience Design – Day 2

This is a continuation of my coverage from the IDEA Conference in Toronto from September 15-16, 2009. My Day 1 roundup can be found here.

Day 2 also had a great lineup of speakers:

My Twitter notes from the conference are below. Enjoy!

Tim Queenan

  • Day 2 of IDEA has started. Up first is Tim Queenan @the_tq talking on The Dawn of Perfect Products
  • I’m a bit late on this one so also follow @bnunnally for updates
  • Most companies see social media as a tactic. Pretty shortsighted about it. Only see it as a communication device, not biz building
  • Marketer’s pretext: if product experience sucks, social media can’t fix it. Soc med rightfully puts sucky experiences in their place
  • Formula for success: cats internet wacky action – taste = super hot!
  • Social media drives open innovation models. Rise of end user prototype marketing
  • Dissecting the traditional “perfect” product: 1. Fulfills need or want. 2. Has either niche market appeal or mass-market appeal.
  • 3. Has high margins. 4. Has high perceived value. 5. Must be replenished/repurchased by customer often. 6. Easily upsold/cross-sold
  • What social media can really do: Experiences get more valuable as more people interact them (harnessing the network effect).
  • Experiences encourage even more value to emerge over time when end users can contribute, customize and extend these experiences
  • “If the products we create aren’t able to react in a real-time way, they’ll no longer be relevant” — @the_tq
  • Small can be beautiful when end behavior is focus. Behaviors we want to encourage vs. featuritis and customization
  • Social media challenges “perfect” products to be: intuitive, elastic (able to change), intelligent, polarizing, and enterprising
  • New implication to product innovation: constant friction between market and technology. New dilemma: structure vs. ad hoc process
  • Think big, act small

Christian Crumlish and Erin Malone

  • Yay! @mediajunkie and @emalone are up now running their Social Design Patterns Mini-Workshop
  • Basics of social design: Know the rules & be flexible to change the rules. Give people a way to be identified & identify themselves.
  • Make sure there is a “there” there. What’s your social object?
  • People don’t want to connect for sake of connecting. They want to share common interests, rally around what they mutually care about
  • Give people something to do. Share with friends, mark as favorite, displaying/collecting objects, tagging, etc. Start small & grow
  • Not everyone has to be shouting out. The majority of the community will just be consumers, few contributors. That’s ok
  • Enable a bridge to real life events. People wanna talk their lives online and bring them back offline again
  • False dichotomy to separate the “real world” from the online world. Virtual comm significantly stronger when meet even once offline
  • Let the community elevate people and content they value. Allow ppl to say what’s important. Gently moderate.
  • Pave the cowpaths: @mediajunkie showing photo of campus with grass worn out, talking about putting paths down where ppl are walking
  • Don’t be too prescriptive of how users are going to use your site. Watch to see what they do themselves, then adapt the product
  • The @ symbol and RT on Twitter were invented by the users, and now Twitter supports it natively.
  • Talk like a person. Use a conversational voice. Nothing hiding the fact that human beings built the website. NO legalese/buzzwords
  • Be open. Play well with others. Allow your users to bring in data from elsewhere, and bring it elsewhere. Dont rebuilt the ecosystem
  • Learn from games. Allow your users to “level up” and collect objects throughout the experience.
  • RT @orian: @mediajunkie just casually mentioned that there are no good third party reputation systems for us to tap into on the web
  • Respect the ethical dimension. People are bound to get offended & feel rejected. But you shouldn’t betray or trick your users
  • You’d be surprised but you’re going to ask yourself: What ethical rules am I willing to bend to get people through the “cold start”?
  • Cargo Cult – “any group of people who imitate the exterior without understanding of the interior” You can’t just steal blindly
  • Don’t assume that solutions that others have used are in any way appropriate to you, or that you even know how to pull it off
  • Don’t break email. When ppl get messages in their inbox, they want to reply via email. Don’t make them go back to the site to do it
  • (I’m a BIG fan of this anti-pattern)
  • The password anti-pattern: asking users for their passwords from other services in order to expand your user base. Long term loss
  • @emalone & @mediajunkie showing clip from Monty Python & Holy Grail “Bridge of Death” what’s your fav color? like mom’s maiden name
  • Ex-boyfriend bug. Faux pas. Rex Sorgatz tweet: The “people you should know” list on Facebook is actually a list of people you hate.
  • @orian is synthesizing this stuff better than me and I live and breathe it every day. Follow him instead
  • Potemkin Village “Tempting to create a honeycomb of cells of what you want to happen”
  • Your users will tell you when they wish there were some separation in content. Don’t presuppose it. Wait and see
  • We’re about to play the social patterns game that @emalone and @mediajunkie dreamed up!
  • 3 card types: social objects, demographic and delivery. Others: lucky, principle, anti-social, anti-patterns.

Matthew Milan

  • @mmilan is up now on Innovation Parkour! “Is innovation fun?” Everyone raises their hands. “BULLSHIT. It hurts!”
  • Myths of innovation: it’s expensive, takes a long time, can only be done by certain ppl (P.S. @mmilan developed this w @michaeldila)
  • We’re not watching a video of parkour (not it, but similar: This is amazing!
  • Parkour is what innovation should feel like. Use the obstacles, let the constraints shape the output in a positive way
  • “Routined work produces efficient and predictable outcomes..In the face of unpredictability, how likely is it that ppl won’t panic?”
  • Pilots practice finding the optimal blend of reason and emotion, how to ignore their fear; make quick, complicated decisions
  • “He who handles the quickest rate of change survives.” — John Boyd, military strategist
  • Parkour is a lot like military strategy or flying planes. It allows them to negotiate obstacles in a way that’s simple and effective
  • Cybernetics = study of goal-directed systems. Actually a model for a conversation. Relationship bw decisions/conversation/innovation
  • How do we innovate? Ladder of skills: unconscious incompetence, conscious incompetence, conscious competence, unconscious competence
  • In other words: Don’t know what we don’t know, know what we don’t know, know what we know, don’t need to know cuz we already know
  • Each of these practices is about synthesis of flow and repertoire. @mmilan suggests Flow Repertoire = Insight Innovation
  • “Innovation is cheap, it can be done quickly, and it can be done by everyone. But we forget we have to practice” — @mmilan
  • “Develop the muscle memory for innovation.” — @mmilan
  • Innovation is about collaboration, so we need to practice trust. “Innovation Parkour is a practice for generating insight on demand”
  • “Practice freedom by embracing obstacles.” — @mmilan
  • I need @mmilan‘s quotations on index cards to paste all around my work space as inspiration
  • @mmilan just called @dennisschleiche up to stage so he could interview him on his experience as participant in Innovation Parkour
  • After taking @mmilan‘s Innovation Parkour, @dennisschleiche ran his own at SCAD. Talking about his experience’s now
  • RT @orian: #idea09 @mmilan‘s ideas are particularly valuable for startups, which need to regularly embrace constraints in order to innovate
  • In Innovation Parkour, there are no leaders.
  • @mmilan asking the audience: What do you think Innovation Parkour training drills would look like for your organization?
  • @mmilan I would love to talk to you about how to run mini-Innovation Parkours with my clients

Mari Luangrath

  • Up now is cupcake company owner Mari Luangrath @foiledcupcakes on If You Build It (Using Social Media), They Will Come
  • When she started she got on Twitter, April 1, 2009, and started Twittering for her co
  • Mari started @foiledcupcakes with 2 college bffs and HS bff. 20 flavors of cupcakes available every day
  • Mari is killing it already. Love her!
  • “It’s good that they came out before we did because we could see what they were offering, what we could do better”
  • Changed their whole business plan to delivery, no storefront.
  • @foiledcupcakes sends personalized hand-written thank you notes to its customers. Swoooon (4-6 human touchpoints per order)
  • @foiledcupcake‘s baseball analogy is really working to my surprise (since they’re usually so played out). Fits well
  • @foiledcupcake‘s publicist has little work to do because they’ve been getting so much business & press via social media
  • Woot woot! @foiledcupcakes just gave a shoutout to @cupcakeblog Cupcakes Take the Cake!
  • @foiledcupcakes telling story of giving cupcakes to Toad the Wet Sprocket’s @glenphillips, who took them on the road with them
  • “We do a lot of testing of behavior info” — @foiledcupcakes. Testing through social media to see what resonates with customers
  • @foiledcupcakes exceeded their 1st month revenue projection by 3 times, and they attribute that to Twitter
  • Conversations with customers is how to organically grow the business — @foiledcupcakes
  • “We don’t use LinkedIn a ton, but it’s good because we’ve been able to target groups to give out free cupcakes.” — @foiledcupcakes
  • We’re eating @foiledcupcakes!
  • Oh wait, no we’re not. They’re from Miss Cora’s Kitchen in Toronto
  • “There are so many Twitter apps, which I’m sure you all know because you created them.” — @foiledcupcakes {{audience laughter}}
  • “Internet is no substitute for human companionship. As much as I’d like to say our success was social media, it’s about meeting ppl”
  • Mari of @foiledcupcakes totally killed it. Loving her
  • Mari of @foiledcupcakes just admits: “I don’t bake….please”
  • “I didn’t know what Twitter was and I was a skeptic and I thought it was dumb, so this was all a big surprise.” — @foiledcupcakes
  • @foiledcupcakes has received 3-4 franchise offers and she’s only been open since April 09. UNBELIEVABLE

Stephen Anderson

  • @stephenanderson is up now on The Art and Science of Seductive Interactions. Last preso of IDEA09!
  • LinkedIn “profile completeness” progress meter actually works — gets lots of people to input more personal info. Psychology!
  • “I’m a great app if people would just get to know me” is a problem we see more and more. How do we get people in?!
  • Seduction: process of deliberately enticing person to engage (in some sort of sexual behavior) @stephenanderson crosses out last bit
  • @stephenanderson is a “beta-junkie” signs up for every beta. Someone says “hey check this out” but few actually deliver on promise
  • One that @stephenanderson was impressed by: iLike because of their untraditional ways to gather user info
  • Adding bands he likes wasn’t just a textbox, but was clicking on artists. Not from memory, but right there in front of him
  • Had a great time clicking the bands he likes (user goal) & iLike gained lots of data about his musical tastes/preferences (biz goal)
  • Why did this work? Feedback loop: our actions will modify subsequent results. Curiosity. Visual imagery. Pattern recognition
  • The iLike email for profile confirmation has a link to “play the iLike challenge” It’s Name that Song. Quicker answer, more points
  • On the side there’s a scoreboard of your prowess so it keeps you coming back to try to beat your high score
  • Ha, I said “Name that Song” before when I meant “Name that Tune”
  • iLike Challenge lets iLike learn about its users tastes, preferences and *knowledge* — valuable data
  • Why did this work? Sensory experience. Points. Levels. Appropriate challenges.
  • @bokardo says that increasing motivation is psychology while removing friction is usability. @stephenanderson focuses on psych
  • List exercise: People are strange, unpredictable, insightful, daring, curious, imperfect, wise, understanding, impossible to please
  • That was my list
  • “Salting the tip jar” putting money into the jar yourself encourages others to give
  • Seeing the photo of the Peabody Hotel, @orian turns to me and says, “And I went to the Sheraton?” Oof
  • Social proof: people tend to follow the lead of others.
  • @stephenanderson showing photo of Hot Wheels mystery car. You don’t know what you’re buying, but that’s the exciting part
  • California Pizza Kitchen gives you a coupon that you’re not allowed to open (only they are)
  • Netflix’s rate your recent return to reveal 2 movies you’ll love. Genius
  • Playing hard to get. Private beta social proof = woah! It’s like an exclusive nightclub
  • Twitter is playing hard to get with its 140 char limit. A key part of its success. Has a tech origin, but lets people just post it!
  • Rypple’s feedback form has a 100 character limit. They do this to encourage feedback. It takes the pressure off
  • Taking a chance. @stephenanderson is using @brighterplanet as an example!
  • Carbon footprint score initially given is American average, which encourages you to enter your own information cuz you’re not avg!
  • Friskiness, gifts and pleasant surprises. Like @dopplr‘s Delighters. The little things that make you feel good.
  • @Dopplr‘s “You are in Toronto today…so is @whitneyhess” is serendipity.
  • Yay! @kathysierra quotation: “Brains pay attention to what brains care about, not necessarily what the conscious mind cares about”
  • RT @orian: #idea09 Really happy to see @whitneyhess@brighterplanet work displayed as tackling a hard UX problem in @stephenanderson‘s talk
  • @stephenanderson‘s mastery of this topic makes me super envious that I don’t have an area of focus like this to chew on
  • That’s all folks! What a wonderful two days. Such great speakers, volunteers and venue. Thanks to everyone involved. What a pleasure

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