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Creating Memorable Experiences in FarmVille


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MeetLatAm 2015 - Santiago presentation about design decisions that lead to more memorable user experiences using FarmVille as an example.

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Creating Memorable Experiences in FarmVille

  1. 1. Creating Memorable Experiences: Amitt Mahajan
  2. 2. Who Am I? • Serial Entrepreneur and Angel Investor • Founder/CTO of MyMiniLife (FarmVille tech) – Acquired by Zynga in 2009 • Created and launched FarmVille with Zynga – Lead development team from 2009-2010 • Founder/CEO of Toro – SaaS growth hacking products – Acquired by Google in 2015 @AMITTM
  3. 3. Why Focus on the User? • Higher engagement & retention • Greater word of mouth distribution (NPS) • Delighted users have a higher chance of becoming paying customers • Foundation of some very successful companies (Amazon, Google, Uber, etc.) @AMITTM
  4. 4. A Brief History of FarmVille • Launched the game in June 2009 • 1M daily active users after 4 days • Peak of 32M daily active users • Grossed over $1B in revenue @AMITTM
  5. 5. @AMITTM
  6. 6. Takeaways • Go beyond the function of your product and delight your users • Even small moments of joy can create emotional connections to your product • Social experiences can leave a lasting impression • All of the above applies to products outside of games @AMITTM
  7. 7. Blow Past User Expectations • Create a product that’s not just functional but that the user enjoys using • Sweat small details – FarmVille action queueing • Anticipate user needs ahead of time @AMITTM
  8. 8. @AMITTM
  9. 9. Create Moments of Joy • Random, small delights – Zappos was known for randomly providing free shipping • Mysteries work really well – What’s in the gift boxes? @AMITTM
  10. 10. Try to Hit All Emotions • A variety of emotions cause conflict which make your experience more interesting • Sympathy, disappointment, and relief were common themes @AMITTM
  11. 11. Find a Voice • All of our dialog was written in a “Farmer”- slang voice; including our blog posts • Each animal had a different personality, adding to the relaxed attitude of the game @AMITTM
  12. 12. Visual Design has Market-size Impact • Mismatched visual design can alienate a segment of your market • FarmVille’s art style was carefully chosen @AMITTM
  13. 13. Be Mindful of User Context • Build your product to fit the user’s lifestyle • In FarmVille, most users play Monday morning at work – Short 5-minute sessions fit this type of user • Make it easy to get in the flow (click-zen) @AMITTM
  14. 14. Example Click-Zen @AMITTM
  15. 15. Stay Playful • Experiment and break conventions • Sometimes it won’t work but it keeps the experience interesting @AMITTM
  16. 16. @AMITTM
  17. 17. Collaboration Creates Memories • Users start to view your product as a way of socializing • Emergent gameplay will occur @AMITTM
  18. 18. Follow the Community’s Lead • Added user play-style specific features • Makes community feel part of the process @AMITTM
  19. 19. Run Regular Events • Provides TV-like watercooler moments • Weekly feature launches and events – Farm of the Week • Holiday events @AMITTM
  20. 20. @AMITTM
  21. 21. Don’t Let Tech Get in the Way • Tech issues kill retention and engagement • Pay attention to load-times & performance • Optimize for the user with the worst setup @AMITTM
  22. 22. Conclusion • Aim to not just provide a functional product but one that’s a delight to use; moments of joy can help • Find a voice that defines your product • Lasting impact can be found by facilitating social experiences and involving your community • Keep content fresh and interesting through periodic events and experimentation @AMITTM
  23. 23. Thank You! @amittm Q & A