BadAss Making Users Awesome

If you’re a programmer who has read a Head first’s Java series, I’m sure you don’t need an introduction to Kathy sierra. She has created javaranch and the author of few other hugely popular Head first book from O’Reilly. I remember reading Head First was so refreshing and fun filled. Thought it was a technical book, it never overwhelmed me with all-the-references. When I saw the trailer for Badass: Making Users Awesome book, I was sold. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time I’m seeing a trailer for a book.

This book is highly relevant in today’s world of digital marketing where Ads are squeezed on to every app, page. Now, I understand how to make an awesome user of a product than just making an awesome product.

badass-making- users-awesome

I mistook social media recommendations to be word of mouth recommendation.

Because on their deathbed, our users won’t be thinking,”If only I’d spent more time engaging with brands.”

Midway into this book, I realized that I was plain wrong. Making too many decisions, drains mental energy available for the day. Kathy explains why it is important to have defaults.

We all think that choice is awesome we give the user lots and lots of choices.But we know, this is not actually what they feel. When were confronted by choices. This is what they feel. When they have choices. Because even after they make the choices, it’s still stressful, their still leaking resources. So it doesn’t mean, don’t give them choices, but you don’t force them to make those choices. So if they have trusted filters and defaults, it’s a huge benefit, and we also have micro leaks. Micro leaks are just the tiny little things that add up that you worry about right? I did turn off the oven; I did switch my phone on airplane mode right? It’s not going to actually buzz while I’m in the theatre right? So, death by 1,000 cognitive micro leaks.

I was surprised to know that I as a creator of an app can make my user fat.

If your UX asks the user to make choices, for example, even if those choices are both clear and useful, the act of deciding is a cognitive drain. And not just while they’re deciding… even after we choose, an unconscious cognitive background thread is slowly consuming/leaking resources, “Was that the right choice?”

This explains my usage of Evernote. Though, I don’t want to put my data into any of the freemium apps I kept using Evernote. Attempt to ditch it, wasn’t successful. Without Evernote, I will be overwhelmed with information which I simply can’t handle. I edit at least 5-10 notes every day on mobile and web. I think this may be one of the reasons why people who don’t want the system to get into their way of work use Mac.

Even after completing this book, I was so interested in this subject that watched all of her talks in youtube.

On the whole, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I recommend this book to anyone who is passionate about building product for normal people. Don’t miss this 286 page of awesomeness.