Kathy says ‘Reducing guilt is the killer app’

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/03/14

Over on Creating Passionate Users, Kathy Sierra posted that ‘Reducing guilt is the killer app’.

I buy it — how about you?

Can’t tell you how easy it is for my eLearning and design efforts to get stuck in the mud because the system just doesn’t give users the feeling of ‘You can do it!’ (to quote Jaime Escalante who I saw speak once when I was in college — he was amazing — all he said for 20 minutes was that phrase — over and over — “You can do it!” — with a Cheech Marin accent — inspiration comes in many forms — some stand and deliver more that any visio diagram ever will — how can we create systems that, through their UX design, say this?)

Kathy nails it by identifying the emotional stress of not measuring up to all of the stuff people don’t know but that seems within reach (a kind of knowledge proximity, as it were).

And here’s her choice quote on what to do about it —

Help users revolt. Help them realize that perhaps their problem wasn’t their fault. Struggling to learn these tough technical topics? Maybe it isn’t you. Maybe it’s the way these topics are taught (or rather, the way they are not being taught). Part of our mission with the Head First books is to let learners off the hook! To say, “It is not your fault. Traditional learning experiences (including many text books) are usually not designed for the best interest of your brain…”

More on this later regarding Seth Godin’s recent talk at Google. I finally got my video iPod setup the other day and watched the video of it — some very important ideas in there — distilled very nicely.

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