WONK WARNING: Raw, fast typing ahead. Won´t be 100% accurate, and definitely ain’t spell checked! Read no further if you want Dickens. He´s at some other conference. But if you wade on, you’re in for a brain treat.
Kathy Sierra kicks off the SXSW keynote by asking is anyone Live blogging this event? (Well, maybe not *quite* live, but I stick up my hand). She says OK, lots of people are recording this, people are vlogging it, webcasting it, putting it on twitter. So nobody else needs to be here. We could just strap those people into chairs and everybody else could go enjoy it at the bar, or later. So Why Are You Here?????
You guys make the products and use the technologies that mean that you don´t need to be here. But you´re here. There´s only one reason why you´re here. Scientists want to know why people like to be with real people. Some think it might be just smell. But if we want lovable applications, we need some form of HUMANNESS. Not a humane interface. Something that´s actually human.
She identifies three groups: Designers: If hyou saw a man drowning and you either save him or photograph the event… how would you tag it on Flickr.
Coders: If you could choose between coding and open source web app or having sex…
Money: Visualize money person and insert humourous money person comment.
Then we all have to meet people in categories other than our own. It´s fun, the whole room buzzes, and she has to call us back to attention.
Why we are here when we´re the people creating the things that mean we don´t have to be.
(Gratuitous Puppy Photo. It does things to your brain. it gets past your crap filter. it makes you pay attention.)
Two things we can do:
1. Help our users get together offline
2. Make our interactions in our apps and websites feel more human
When we reverse engineer passion, people are getting together real time offline and the more they do that the more their passion increases.
Wiki on how to start your own bar camp, wine camp, non profit camp. meetup.com is the best resource you can have.
The computer doesn´t know that face is there, doesn´t respond in an iteractive way. Computer can´t ask user a question. Being able to look confused and having the other entity respond appropriately is crucial to human interaction.
Slide with a series of statements:
I have very narrow interests, but am expert in those areas.
I´m good at gathering facts and considered highly intelligent.
I´m bad in social situations and will often look at my shoes.
I don´t understand facial expressions, and am often considered socially awkward.
What is being described? Someone who suffers from Aspergers.
Aspergers describes not only Nerds, but all our apps.
Nobody is passionate about things they suck at. Anyone who gets their users past the suck threshold and to the passionate level faster probably wins.
FAQs and online help???? No, because the person who wrote the FAQ thinks you look like this.
When in reality, you look like this.
How do I say to a computer WTF? Hilarious example of a real user trying to figure out how to add a column of nubers in Excel and consulting help and office assistant and getting nowhere. And a long page of results from searching on “What the Fuck” including “Where did my Module go?” but nothing, of course, about how to add that column of numbers.
Confusion is a prompt to questions: What are you confused about? Where did you get lost?
You could use natural language processing to have dialog with a user.
Frequently asked questions are seldom frequently asked by the real person struggling.
Get user to the right context ASAP. FAQs don´t go backward. They never back you up and say no you went too far, let´s put you in another place.
Give them understandable questoins. Let the user choose from a high level statement: I´m lost. Why did that happen? I don´t know what it’s called, but I need it. Narrow the user choices, then present a list. Get the CONTEXT right.
I’m in Code Blue situation, I don´t care what it’s called. Help shouldn’t be tree focussed, it should be forest focussed.
Click the picture of the face you´re making.
You know you´re succeeding when you creep people out: it´s like the application read my mind, I had this weird question and there it was. Because it was based on real user experience.
People stop writing like humans when they write FAQs. At sun microsystems they were told not to use contractions. In Hollywood, when they want to communicate that a being is not human, you can always spot them by the fact that they don´t use contractions.
Use the word YOU. Makes a huge difference. Profound benefits from making the language more conversational. Your brain doesn´t know the difference between a conversation it´s reading and one with a real human. So it goes Holy Crap I´m in A Conversation I Gotta Hold Up My End. And so it pays ATTENTION.
Help, FAQs, and user docs might not sound sexy, but they are the key to passion.
Out-teach your users. Get them up that passionate curve faster.
Hi Res Experience. Wine taster vs High school student trying wine. Font designer looking at Comic Sans. Musician listening to music. They see, hear, sense different things than a non-expert.
Don´t underestimate the importance of what we´re doing. We think we’re writing silly web apps or even world changing web apps but we get bogged down and we don’t think about the negative aspects of our work. Think about the experience you are giving a user. If you can make them have a slightly better experience and have five extra minutes of free time because you made their job easier. When people are in flow, everything they are worried about doesn´t matter. And to give users the experience of flow is a great gift, and a sacred task. We don’t have to change the world on a big scale, we can do it one user at a time.
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