Extra-gamified: why are some apps so satisfying?

According to Statista, an average of 6,140 apps were released in Play Store everyday in the first quarter of 2018. Yet, 77% of users never returned to the app after 72 hours of installing it. What makes some apps stick so much better with users than others?

Gamification and a psychology behind Tinder

Satisfying Tetris Game (Image source: imgur)

Gamification is, “the craft of deriving all the fun and addicting elements found in games and applying them to real-world or productive activities,”

Yu-Kai Chou, an author of Actionable Gamification
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We Need App Reviews, but We Need to Ask at the Right Time

Effective Measures for ASO

The new app review prompt introduced in iOS11 (Source: iMore)

When it comes to downloading a new app, very few people ignore the reviews. According to Apptentive’s user survey, 90% of users take app ratings into account and 79% also pay attention to the reviews; 4 out of every 10 people consider reviews to be more important than recommendations from friends. Just as reviews are important for the ranking of products on Amazon.com, visibility of apps in both Apple and Google stores are also strongly affected by reviews. Apps have to be good in general, but it is crucial to think about when and how to gain more positive reviews for ASO (App Store optimization).

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Slack goes from kooky chat room to imperative corporate pipeline

Since email became the major communication channel in the 1990s, the centralized inbox where users can access all of their conversation history literally also became the work communication hub. Decades later, emails are much more populous and filled with spam and marketing newsletters; the centralized inbox has become a symbol of unproductivity. Slack, the workplace group chat application, has been said to be email’s replacement.

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Bookmarking the internet: How Pocket & Pinterest started and will survive

Just as Google search has made it easy for users to find the right content on the internet, Pocket and Pinterest are letting users organize this content based on their interests. Both of these companies’ missions are to boost the potential of the internet. While their products were enticing, almost romantic, as they came from the early internet period where users and developers shared abundant optimism, I didn’t have a strong understanding of their business models; I only had a vague expectation that advertisement would play an important role, just as it did with Google. In this entry, I wanted to explore how the development of their business models has influenced their products.

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Nike gives us its NYC House of Innovation 000: After a decade of brands conceptualizing digital shops

Image source: Fashion Network

Last week Nike opened its Innovation store in New York City about a month after its first ever Shanghai store was opened. The store is full of attempts, some to respond uniquely to the function of brick-and-mortar retail space in today’s landscape by dissolving online convenience and offline experience. A lot of attempts at experience stores have been made after Amazon started to sell more than books and DVDs about a decade ago. As I follow this topic, I wanted to visit the store and see if I can witness the Nike version of the answer.

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Interactions in Material Design

Image source: What exactly is this so-called ‘Material Design 2,’ and what will it look like? | 9to5Google

Material Design, introduced by Google in 2014, had been my go-to place to reevaluate the design languages in my projects because of its use of metaphors from the physical world. The appearances and properties in the physical world, including how depths or layers are expressed through light and shadow to feedback that makes sense when interacting to physical objects, inspire rules of Material Design. In Material Design, graphics have to be intentional; motions have to guide users to focus on elements and reinforce how these elements will transform or reorganize as they are intended.

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Inclusive Design: those ignored that we must design for

Source: Inclusive Design by Microsoft

I recently attended a meetup event, “Special NYC Blend Event: Inclusive Design”, held at the Google Office in New York. There I heard a talk by Heather Cassano, Head of Product Design at Google about the premise of Inclusive Design and her approach to it. “Inclusive Design is a methodology… that enables and draws on the full range of human diversity. Most importantly, this means including and learning from people with a range of perspectives. (Inclusive Design by Microsoft)”. I have used Universal Design, which essentially is rooted in “building an environment that can be used to the greatest extent possible”(National Disability Authority), to describe a similar practice, but I was not familiar with the term Inclusive Design. It is interesting how Universal Design emphasizes the outcome that adopts to universal conditions, while Inclusive Design speaks about the process of creating the design. To understand better, I want to learn and address where Inclusive Design stands in the accessibility.

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The Dreamery by Casper; Sleeping Pods of the Urban Hideaway

Image Source: Casper

Casper is becoming known for pop-up shops, each of which is filled with playful and colorful treehouse structures where shoppers can try out mattresses. Just like Ikea where dads falling asleep on mattress away from their active shopper families, Casper has also provided a drowsing oasis to urban shoppers. The Dreamery by Casper, where shoppers can take a 45 min nap for $25, has extended the joy at their stores even further.

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Case Study: Getting users to onboard paid subscription services.

Netflix

“JOIN FREE FOR A MONTH” as a main call to action which sticks to bottom of screen.
The first step is to select from 3 subscription options. There is a CTA to click to see all options.
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Data Visualization Infographics v.s. Products

I was fortunate to participate in a panel discussion concerning data science hosted by Toptal. As a designer, my contribution was to share examples on how data presentations can mislead one when presented as real facts, and how data visualization products require high sets of personalization. When data is used for presentations, designers and/or data scientists have to be selective with its range and subject to make their points to the audience, however, the act of extracting also risks adding bias. With that considered, when we provide tools for users to analyze data by themselves, the key is to make the tools easy to personalize, so individual stories from data can be more accessible. Since the time was limited during the discussion, I wanted to share some follow up here.

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