Saturday, May 26, 2012

Product Management: add 'juice' to your product

Web is full of things that you can learn from.  'Juice it or loose it' was one of those learning opportunity for me.  Although example that Martin Jonasson and Petri Purho used was a simple block buster game, ideas can be applied to any user interaction.

You can try the game yourself at

'Juicy' was described by Kyle Gray, Kyle Gabler, Shalin Shodhan and Matt Kucic in 2005 Gamasutra article 'How To Prototype a Game in under 7 Days'.
“Juice” was our wet little term for constant and bountiful user feedback. A juicy game element will bounce and wiggle and squirt and make a little noise when you touch it. A juicy game feels alive and responds to everything you do – tons of cascading action and response for minimal user input. It makes the player feel powerful and in control of the world, and it coaches them through the rules of the game by constantly letting them know on a per-interaction basis how they are doing.
To me being 'juicy' boils down to two aspects in virtuous feedback loop:

  1. System rewards every single user action with lively feedback.
  2. User is encouraged to perform more actions.

This is not just limited to game mechanics.  Same principle can be applied to any product.  How many times you watched a user do something, and your product sat there without responding back to the user?  Often we try solving these lack of 'juiciness' with documentation or user training.

It's time to 'juice' up our applications.

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