Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Building Feedback and Natural Reinforcement into Software Applications

The launch of a new software application is more often met with muttering and sighs than with enthusiasm. If the new application is replacing an old one, users must not only learn the new application, they must unlearn old habits tied to the application being replaced. The unlearning occurs through extinction and typically has emotional side effects. Anyone who skipped the 2007 release of Microsoft Office and made the leap from Office 2003 to Office 2010 has experienced this directly. Fluent habits that had worked for years abruptly began leading to dead ends and frustration...Building frequent PICs (positive, immediate, and certain consequences) into a software application can transform routine work into something more enjoyable or even fun. Video game designers, the virtuosos of frequent feedback and positive reinforcement, have demonstrated for years that people will demonstrate extraordinary Discretionary Effort™ doing what on the surface might seem like a mindless activity. more

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