I'm sitting in a session at the Web 2.0 Expo with Jia Shen from RockYou (they make a bunch of the top apps on Facebook and other social nets) called Design Learnings from Social Applications. I look at the best practices put in place by companies like Slide and RockYou when I make recommendations for social apps for our clients marketing programs, so I'm really excited to hear what he's got to say...
RockYou approach to app design:
1. apply advertising principles to user facing web design
- the main goal is impressions, conversions for every single touchpoint. you grow by maxing # of touchpoints and maxing conversions at each point.
- don't abuse the channel. consider implications for long-term use
2. build fast and launch ASAP.
- design really simple apps
- focus is on virality and growth
- 'channels' are more important than 'features'. 'Channels' are the viral mechanisms that get people to add apps.
3. Iterate rapidly.
- viral channels should drive product development, not features
- tune the viral loop, release updates often
- use A/B testing. Simple, effective.
4. Let data guide product decisions
- numbers don't lie. don't be emotional
More on channels
- focus on 1-to-1 channels. You can tailor messages and they're far more likely to convert.
- Map out alternate flows (install to invite to interact v. install to interact to invite)
- balance relevance v. throughput. What's the objective?
I was just asked to be a judge at the Academy of Art University Annual Spring Show here in San Francisco. I've done some other judging in the past few months (for the AD:TECH Awards and the WebAwards), but I'm actually really looking forward to this one! (And not just because I'm looking to hire about 6 people.)
I'm kvelling today. I just got a copy of BtoB Magazine's Interactive Marketing Guide 2008. Traction was one of five agencies in San Francisco (I think seven in the Bay Area) named on their list of Interactive Agencies in the US. The others include AKQA, Organic, Butler Shine & Stern, Modem Media, Eleven and Publicis. Pretty good company to keep—especially since I'd venture to guess we're the only one on this list under 50 people.