2) Give them what they want. Not what they don’t.
Just like gamers skip stories called “cutscenes,” users skip items they don’t want. Sometimes it’s not about making the content more efficient. Even if it’s a well scripted video or a short paragraph, if users don’t want it, it will be skipped. Just give users what they want - and offer optional learning for anyone who would like to go deeper.
3) We must accept that people are crazy.
We use our lizard brain to make decisions (there’s no way around it) so we need to plan for this. The book Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely is a good start to understand people’s illogical nature. Side note: Ariely is from my hometown of Durham, NC and very nice!
4) Get comfortable with being (really) uncomfortable.
“Can we do more than just talk about actions?” Ria asked. She suggested that perhaps TurboTax could acknowledge the shame around money and empathize with customers' vulnerability as they do their taxes.
To this end, the software now asks customers how they feel about doing their taxes today and gives them some buttons to choose from. Depending on which button you select, an appropriate empathetic message is shown. This human touch is unexpected from tax software.
For each of their main points, the presenters gave terrific examples from both video games and “real life” to explain their learning. The result of their research and newfound knowledge is revamped content within the TurboTax product. The voice and tone are now more human and empathetic.
For example, the title “Education Expense” has become “Let’s get you some tax breaks if you went to school.” In time we will see the degree of success of these changes. But many of the folks in the room were Turbo Tax customers and seemed enthusiastic.
Despite rarely playing a video game in my life, I still found the presentation intriguing and may even considering switching to TurboTax to do my taxes. I heard authenticity and care for customers from both of the excellent Inuit presenters. Thanks, John and Rita!
And I’m going to pay attention to their lessons learned and see how they might apply to the content on my latest project, a website related to sanitation. This topic might typically be subject to the same low enthusiasm as taxes.
Can you apply any of these video game ideas to your business or projects? Do you think this could improve the UX for your customers and increase their emotional engagement?
If you have questions on the presentation or want to talk about one of these ideas, please get in touch with me.