Archive for August, 2009

think like a designer

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does multitasking wither your capabilities?


Is multitasking causing a change in people’s capabilities? By multitasking, do you make yourself less capable… of multitasking, and anything else that requires concentration, flow or focus.

"The shocking discovery of this research is that [high multitaskers] are lousy at everything that’s necessary for multitasking," Professor Nass said.

"The irony here is that when you ask the low multitaskers, they all think they’re much worse at multitasking and the high multitaskers think they’re gifted at it."

“But at the very least, he said, multitaskers should be told that they are bad at multitasking.”

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learned behaviour or lazy?


“…children ages 11-14. The young people who used their phones more often- with the setting that completed words automatically (predictive texting), completed tests quicker, but with a larger number of mistakes.

…results showed predictive texting may be teaching children to act fast, while placing less emphasis on specificity and accuracy.”

And this behaviour transfers in to other areas of life.

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less than 10% pay

  • Less than 10% of people pay for premium content
  • ‘Web 2.0’ free app providers find ~1% pay for the premium product
  • 2-10% of players use micro transactions to buy virtual goods
  • Micro transactions are a lower hurdle than a subscription contract

“The micro-transaction model which has been so successful in Asia for nearly a decade is poised to become the defacto monetization standard worldwide for online games and virtual worlds.  The removal of a subscription fee encourages a larger, more diversified user base, which in turn increases the overall number and willingness of players to trade in virtual goods.  In theory, there is no ceiling on the potential revenue that can be generated per user, unlike the subscription model, and the more the game developers enhance the game and community experience, the less price sensitive players and the greater the reoccurrence of purchases will be.  Virtual goods contribute to a continuously changing game and virtual world experience and provide a continuous revenue stream to match.”

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tips for digital distribution

  • Choose a project that you can complete – create something that you can do quickly
  • Don’t get caught up in engine building or grand designs
  • You don’t always need to innovate
  • Work hard, but find an idea that’s fun to work hard on
  • Don’t expect your game to be a hit, and move on if it doesn’t fly
  • It’s easier to keep the momentum on an existing success than to create a new one
  • There is no magic formula to making a successful game – pay attention to your app and think about ways to incrementally improve your game and approach
  • You need to be noticed
  • Work the community – it’s your community, you work it
  • Implementing user requests go a long way – listen and respond

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imaginary friends are good for you


“Whether re-telling a short fictional story (snip) to a puppet, or telling a story about a real experience they’d had in the last year, the children with a past or present imaginary friend tended to use more dialogue, and to provide more information about time, place and causal relations, thus providing richer stories.”

“Is it easier to talk to your online buddies than your friends out there in the "real world?" Do you feel like you know more about what’s happening in the lives of your Facebook and MySpace friends than with those who don’t have accounts or don’t bother to update them?”

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how do you find your digital content?

AdMob data on “How do iPhone users discover apps?”

62% search for a specific type of app (not clear if this is by name or type/genre)

60% browse through top ranked apps

46% word of mouth recommendation

20% see an ad while using another app

19% press/news or blog

10% a brand introduces an app and reaches out to me

13% other

Suggesting that a remarkable quality, enabling word of mouth matters.

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shut your eyes, and listen to the emotion

“…neuroscientists have discovered that a brain centre involved in sensing emotion and fear called the amygdala kicks into action when volunteers listen to scary music with eyes closed.

“A lot of time we do like to close our eyes when we listen to music, we feel like this is a more powerful experience,” says Talma Hendler, a neuroscientist at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel, who led the new brain imaging study.

Shutting your eyes heightens people’s emotional responses to the outside world…”


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an otaku’s hive


“In modern Japanese slang, the term otaku refers to a fan of any particular theme, topic, or hobby.”  – Wikipedia

Seth Godin in Purple Cow;

“Otaku describes something that’s more than a hobby but a little less than an obsession… Otaku is the desire to find out everything about <something>”

Consumers with otaku are the sneezers you seek. They’re the ones that will take the time to learn about your product, and take their friends time to tell them about it. The flash of insight is that some markets have more otaku-stricken consumers than others. The task of the remarkable marketer is to identify these markets and focus on them to the exclusion of lesser markets – regardless of size.”

If you are the enthusiast and otaku, scratch your own itch. If you aren’t, understand and study your otaku’s hive. Understand what makes them tick and create a product that solves a problem for them in a remarkable way.

IDEO’s deep dive process – total immersion into the problem at hand.

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