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When does introducing simplicity or constraint in design improve experience

From iPhone to sites like Fotolog (where you can only post one picture a day), constraint of design drives the user experience, and can also create popularity. Adam at Fotolog (and Scott) described how the constraint (or simplicity) of Just One Foto keeps the editorial imperative high, and it keeps the community different from Flickr (where you can post a HUGE number of pictures at any time). Communities like VOX where prompting people with the “Question of the Day” gives people something to blog about, in case the community member feels frozen or writer’s block – this ‘constraint’ bounds the experience and gives a place for writers to start.
Simplicity – making things easier for people to get over pain of adoption. People get overwhelmed with too many choices.

Skype – hard but gives people way to make free phone calls so people use it.

Adam – fotolog – doesn’t deny the appeal of the long tail, but too much or too many will reduce usage.

Pip Coburn’s model about getting people over pain of adoption – by giving them value.

Whether you call it restrictions, constraints, or simplicity, there’s something that helps people get over that pain of adoption. Rules vs Guidelines.

John B. – Everyone thinks they want infinite choice but it turns out they really don’t adapt well. Less choice can drive more behavior/purchase/etc.

Hardware guys ship and they’re done – web guys can iterate –

Games guys do this constraint thing well – give rewards, test a huge amount, watch user behavior.

Is Facebook Simple? Yes and no. The applications can be overwhelming, but the social dashboard, keeping track of friends, and photos is easy and well done.

Business marketing social capital exchange social media

Social Media and Social Capital Exchange

John Borthwick has gathered a group of entrepreneurs, early investors, and some how, me, to talk about the above topics in NYC.

Great group of people. We’re seeing some demos of the apps now.
Tumblr is up. Interesting – I though they were just meta-aggregators – but it’s really an interesting way to ‘microblog’ in a different way than Twitter is a microblog – chunks of content that can include photos, videos, audio (coming soon), text, links etc. And it can aggregate a bunch of sources that you have with feeds like Flickr, your own blog, etc. I like it. Have to try this out.

Now up – Public Square – the power behind the “Boxes and Arrows” blog that generated the story I posted about yesterday about “what’s above the fold.” The site enables online community or group writing sites. Gives great things like reputation on the site, and in the back end communication between authors and editors. They’re also offering publishers simple tools for them to make money including taking ads, job boards, etc. They have over 1100 sites, with 25% publishing regularly. 150k page views a week.

Billy from Fichey next. Great way to quickly scan top site’s top pages (like top pages on Digg, then easily jump from an image of the page to exploring the site, and back. Love it. New morning way to scan the net.