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Irresistible Apps: Motivational Design Patterns for Apps, Games, and Web-based Communities

Book Description

When you create an app, a website, or a game, how do you attract users, and perhaps more importantly, how do you keep them? Irresistible Apps explains exactly how to do this using a library of 27 motivational design patterns and real-world examples of how they work.

As a developer, you need to retain users in the new economy of advertisements, subscriptions, and in-app purchases, but how do you do this? How do some applications keep users coming back? Why do people spend hours and hours playing World of Warcraft? Why do people care about Reddit karma? What makes customers keep buying from Amazon? Why do so many people love Khan Academy?

The answers are found in Gameful, Social, Interface, and Information patterns. Not only will you learn about these patterns, you'll also learn why they work using psychological theories of intrinsic motivation, behavioral psychology, and behavioral economics. Good and bad implementations of the patterns are shown so practitioners can use them effectively and avoid pitfalls along the way.

What you'll learn

  • How to use motivational design patterns to create meaningful user experiences

  • How to write motivational user stories

  • About the psychology of your users

  • Techniques for improving your software in ways your users will notice

  • How to analyze software for motivational effectiveness using case studies and the pattern library

  • How to apply psychological principles and patterns to solve sample design problems

Who this book is for

This book is for software designers and developers working on mobile and web apps, especially those using retention-based payment models. It's also for academics and students working on Human-Computer Interface and Software Engineering.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Dedication
  3. Contents at a Glance
  4. Contents
  5. About the Author
  6. About the Technical Reviewers
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Chapter 1: Introduction to Motivational Design
    1. Motivational Design
    2. The Irresistible Smartphone
    3. The Zero-Sum Game
    4. Motivational Design Patterns
    5. How to Read This Book
    6. Conclusion
  9. Chapter 2: Psychology of Motivation
    1. Cargo Cult Design
    2. Behavioral Psychology
    3. Intrinsic Motivation Theories
    4. Behavioral Economics
    5. Conclusion
  10. Chapter 3: Understanding Design Patterns
    1. Pattern Languages
    2. Using Motivational User Stories to Discover Patterns
    3. Prototype Theory
    4. On the Correctness of Patterns, or Lack Thereof
    5. Pattern Description and Organization
    6. Conclusion
  11. Chapter 4: Gameful Patterns
    1. When to Use
    2. Pattern: Collection
    3. Pattern: Growth
    4. Pattern: Increased Responsibility
    5. Pattern: Leaderboard
    6. Pattern: Score
    7. Conclusion
  12. Chapter 5: Social Patterns
    1. When to Use
    2. Pattern: Activity Stream
    3. Pattern: Broadcast
    4. Pattern: Contact List
    5. Pattern: Identifiable Community
    6. Pattern: Identity Shaping
    7. Pattern: Item Sharing
    8. Conclusion
  13. Chapter 6: Interface Patterns
    1. When to Use
    2. Pattern: Notifications
    3. Pattern: Praise
    4. Pattern: Predictable Results
    5. Pattern: State Preservation
    6. Pattern: Undo
    7. Conclusion
  14. Chapter 7: Information Patterns
    1. When to Use
    2. Pattern: Customization
    3. Pattern: Intriguing Branch
    4. Pattern: Organization of Information
    5. Pattern: Personalization
    6. Pattern: Reporting
    7. Pattern: Search
    8. Pattern: Task Queue
    9. Conclusion
  15. Chapter 8: Understanding Motivational Dark Patterns
    1. Defining Motivational Dark Patterns
    2. Using Dark Patterns Ethically: Give Users a Choice
    3. Organization of Dark Patterns
    4. Conclusion
  16. Chapter 9: Temporal Dark Patterns
    1. How to Avoid
    2. Dark Pattern: Grind
    3. Dark Pattern: Hellbroadcast
    4. Dark Pattern: Interaction by Demand
    5. Conclusion
  17. Chapter 10: Monetary Dark Patterns
    1. How to Avoid
    2. Dark Pattern: Currency Confusion
    3. Dark Pattern: Monetized Rivalries
    4. Dark Pattern: Pay to Skip
    5. Conclusion
  18. Chapter 11: Social Capital Dark Patterns
    1. How to Avoid
    2. Dark Pattern: Impersonation
    3. Dark Pattern: Social Pyramid Schemes
    4. Conclusion
  19. Chapter 12: Patterns as Analysis Tools
    1. Case Study: Khan Academy
    2. Summary
    3. Case Study: Tiny Tower
    4. Summary
    5. Conclusion
  20. Chapter 13: Patterns as Design Tools
    1. Case Study: Web Site Built Around Voting
    2. Case Study: Crowdsourced Game for Science
    3. Conclusion
  21. Chapter 14: The End Is the Beginning
    1. Recap
    2. What You’ve Learned
    3. Moving Forward
    4. The Secret Is There Is No Secret
  22. Chapter 15: Bibliography
  23. Index