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Creating out-of-context user delights

Kathy Sierra has a very interesting post on creating out-of-context user delights. “User delights” are interesting and enjoyable experiences that come unexpected with the use of a product. The social and emotional creatures that we are, such delights stay with us for a long time and give us something to remember and talk about. Click here to read Kathy’s post, full of real world examples.

Here are Kathy’s tips on creating out-of-context user delights:

  1. Take an attribute that’s normal and expected in one domain, and use it where it would not be expected.
  2. Take an attribute in your domain that’s expected, and do the opposite.
  3. Do something completely out of character.
  4. Combine two things that nobody would think to combine.
  5. Blow a stereotype.
  6. Add “meaning” where it’s not usually expected.
  7. Care about detail in the smallest of ways, and without using it as a marketing tool!
  8. “Sex it up” by adding beauty and/or sex appeal where it’s not expected.

I’d summarize Kathy’s points as: be thoughtful, be unexpected (surprising) and make it fun for the user/customer!

Filed under: Web | RIAs | Usability

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