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The Automatic Customer: Designing User Behavior Gamification Conference June 21, 2012

Nir Eyal NirAndFar.com @nireyal

1. Please use your phones. Tweet: @nireyal 2. Slides will not be handed out.

Take notes!
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“OMG businesses”

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Patterns

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Vitamins or painkillers?

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Selling painkillers

- Obvious need - stop pain - Quantifiable market - Monetizable

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Selling vitamins

- Emotional need, not efficacy - “Makes me feel good knowing...” - Unknown market

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Vitamins or painkillers?

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Habit when not doing causes pain.
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Habit-forming technology
Pleasure seeking Pain alleviation

Vitamin

Painkiller

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"We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters." - Peter Thiel

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How to engineer behavior?

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Desire engines

Move users through stages of mastery. Create internal triggers.
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The Desire Engine
Trigger
External Internal

Action

Commitment

Var. Reward

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Trigger

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Trigger Examples
External Alarms Advertising Calls-to-action Emails Stores Internal Emotions Routines Situations Places People

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Internal triggers tend to be negative emotions
Dissatisfied Indecisive Lost Tense Fatigued Inferior
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Boredom Lonesome Fear Confusion Powerlessness Discouraged
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Action

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when doing < thinking = action
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Fogg Behavior Model B = m.a.t.
motivation triggers

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ability

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Behaviors to Actions with Cross-Functional Teams
motivation = marketing triggers = interaction design

ability = product
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Variable Reward

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We crave predictability
• Variable rewards
drive us nuts.

• Compulsion to make
sense of cause and effect. drives the search.

• Dopamine system
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The search for rewards
the Tribe the Hunt
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the Self
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Search for Social Rewards
the Tribe
- Acceptance - Sex - Power

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Search for Resources
the Hunt
- Food - Money - Information

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Search for Sensation
the Self
- Mastery - Consistency - Competency - Purpose

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Variable Rewards Levers

• Type • Frequency • Amplitude
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Commitment

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Commitment
• Where user does a
bit of “work.”

• “Pays” with

something of value: time, money, social capital, effort, data ...

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Little commitments, big results
Group 1: 83% refused Group 2: 76% accepted
Freedman & Fraser, 1966

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The crazy logic of commitment
Credit to Jesse Schell

• Should I ‘spend’ (time, money, effort ...) on
this? Is it good? not good.

• Only an idiot would ‘spend’ on something • Since I spent on it before and I am not an
idiot, it must be good.
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Commitments are about future rewards that make the next action more likely.
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"Paying and subscribing are not actions. They are results of engagement." - Gabe Zichermann

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Desire Engine Canvas
Trigger Action

Commitment

Var. Reward

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How to use a Desire Engine
1. Think of what the INTERNAL TRIGGER will be. What’s the existing habit you’re attaching to? 2. Find the EXTERNAL TRIGGER to reach user with call-toaction. Communicate “what is product for?” 3. Prompt the intended ACTION - Make sure it’s very simple and defined. Ex - We want user to scroll 4. Add VARIABLE REWARDS - Mix the type (hunt, tribe, self), change frequency, and amplitude. 5. Ask for the COMMITMENT - Does it increase the likelihood of next cycle?
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Use this for authentic good. Simple test: Would you use it?
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Some Examples

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Twitter (Consumer)
T
Facebook, friend, email ...

A
Scroll

C
Follow Information (Hunt)

VR

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Twitter (Creator)
T
App icon, mention, message Boredom, curiosity, Lonesome

A
Re-Tweet or Tweet

C
Connect with others: @ reply, DM ...
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VR
Social feedback (Tribe)

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Email
T
Icon on phone Procrastinate, anxiety, thoughts of others.... Open unread messages

A

C
Write back

VR
Tribe, hunt and self

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Farmville
T
Facebook feed, email ... Boredom, lonesome, loss aversion = anxiety Play

A

C

VR

• Build farm • Invite others • Pay $

• Points (hunt) • Personalized

virtual goods (self)
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Please raise your phone in the air.

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