On March 23, I spoke at Yeti Zen about how to incorporate virality into product design. The next four blog posts will be excerpts from that speech.
While we like pretty pictures as much as the next guy, good design always starts with market insight. Know your audience. Design for your audience. But more, market insight is not just about the people you are building for, but also the environment in which you are building.
Social media has revolutionized the marketing landscape in large part because virality allows for the creation of low-cost marketing campaigns. Since the advent of Facebook and its ilk, going viral has consequently been the aim of every game, app, video, and meme. Do take advantage. How can we make sure that we are designing a product that is going to be viral?
Again, if we only pay attention to virality at the marketing phase all we are creating is potentially annoying advertisements. Instead, at the start of the design process create a project plan for how and why the product will incorporate social media. Most of what we see in discussions of virality is about increasing the number of outbound messages, and getting those message out quicker. This has no significance in the product development phase. Instead, we can use a map to help us incorporate virality into product design from the get-go.
Incorporating virality is basically an attitude: It’s a good way to look at things at the beginning of a project because it informs your product decisions. But as the project progresses, be ready and flexible enough to make changes according to the needs of the moment.
Interesesting? Stay tuned for Part II, How we measure virality.