The One Question Your Product Isn’t Answering

Your pitch is perfected, your customer interviews are completed and you’ve found the holy grail of customer-product fit. Heck, you’re even wearing clean socks!

So what’s missing? According to Fun Ambassador, game designer and UX thought leader Julie Price, it’s Fun! Price led a rousing discussion at ImagineTalks by asking the audience to vote on a hypothetical—how to spend the duration of her talk. One choice was to “dinner party”– engage the person on your right in polite conversation for 15 minutes. The second choice was free form networking. The third choice was to Save the Conference by playing an interactive game. While the first two choices generated a few raised hands, the game won by a landslide.

Price explained that humans, being social creatures, are literally wired for fun and elaborated on how adding elements of fun can turn even mundane tasks into eagerly anticipated activities that eventually turn into habits. She was emphatic that Fun does not equal gamification and that some of the more overly used elements (like leader boards) actually diminish fun for many people.

Need a more concrete example? Price offered plenty, including a game she developed for her brother’s wedding. She turned a mundane rehearsal dinner into a day-long quest to Rescue Grandma.  Her popular online game Skinny City (developed with Deepesh Kurrupath) is a multi-player, interactive online game to encourage and reward habit forming behaviors.

So, next time you think you’re finished building your product, remember to ask the question, “Are we having Fun yet?”