The Maltese Product

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In our newly-made world of always on, real-time services, something interesting has happened: we're increasingly nostalgic for a slower, idealised past of shared personal experiences. Whether it be playing records; a passed-on paperback; Sunday night telly together; or something else entirely, we increasingly find ourselves playing the role of digital sleuths, chasing a half-remembered treasure.

As the creators of the next generation of online products, how do we create experiences that are delightfully informed by our past but not weighed down by it? With seven years of experience in online music, and using their latest product This Is My Jam as a case study, Matthew Ogle and Hannah Donovan will demonstrate how to choose the right constraints for your product and build a story that will attract users.

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The Maltese Product

  1. TheMALTESE PRODUCT HANNAH DONOVAN & MATTHEW OGLE, 28 SEPTEMBER 2012
  2. 1. CAPTURING THE EXPERIENCEWe’re living in a realtime world. It’s pretty great.
  3. 1. CAPTURING THE EXPERIENCEWe’re living in a realtime world. It’s pretty great.
  4. 1. CAPTURING THE EXPERIENCEIncreasingly, they don’t fit in with our realtimeworld and some, we’re nostalgic for.
  5. 1. CAPTURING THE EXPERIENCEHave you ever wanted to (or been asked to)recreate an experience like this online?
  6. 1. CAPTURING THE EXPERIENCE
  7. 1. CAPTURING THE EXPERIENCE
  8. 1. CAPTURING THE EXPERIENCE
  9. 1. CAPTURING THE EXPERIENCE
  10. 1. CAPTURING THE EXPERIENCE How can you take in new music at this pace? If you don’t have time to listen to a song right now, then how do you find it later when you do? How do you know what the good stuff is? What about all the extra personal context?
  11. 1. CAPTURING THE EXPERIENCEA couple of years ago, web browsers advanced toa point where simultaneous synchronous listeningexperiences were finally within reach.
  12. 1. CAPTURING THE EXPERIENCEA couple of years ago, web browsers advanced toa point where simultaneous synchronous listeningexperiences were finally within reach.
  13. 1. CAPTURING THE EXPERIENCEA couple of years ago, web browsers advanced toa point where simultaneous synchronous listeningexperiences were finally within reach.
  14. 1. CAPTURING THE EXPERIENCE
  15. 1. CAPTURING THE EXPERIENCE
  16. 1. CAPTURING THE EXPERIENCE
  17. 1. CAPTURING THE EXPERIENCE
  18. 1. CAPTURING THE EXPERIENCE
  19. 1. CAPTURING THE EXPERIENCE
  20. 1. CAPTURING THE EXPERIENCE
  21. 1. CAPTURING THE EXPERIENCE
  22. 1. CAPTURING THE EXPERIENCE
  23. 2. HAVING FUN ALONG THE WAYOne explanation is these products reproduced theoffline experience too faithfully, and didn’t takeadvantage of existing online behaviour.
  24. 2. HAVING FUN ALONG THE WAYOne explanation is these products reproduced theoffline experience too faithfully, and didn’t takeadvantage of existing online behaviour.We need better models for creating onlineexperiences that evoke the offline ones we miss.
  25. 2. HAVING FUN ALONG THE WAYIn 1930, Dashiell Hammett wrote a novel called:
  26. 2. HAVING FUN ALONG THE WAYIn 1930, Dashiell Hammett wrote a novel called:
  27. 2. HAVING FUN ALONG THE WAYShortly after, it was made into a talkie called:
  28. 2. HAVING FUN ALONG THE WAYShortly after, it was made into a talkie called:
  29. 2. HAVING FUN ALONG THE WAYIn 1936 it was again adapted for film, titled:
  30. 2. HAVING FUN ALONG THE WAYIn 1936 it was again adapted for film, titled:(That one didn’t do so well).
  31. 2. HAVING FUN ALONG THE WAYIn 1941 it became a major motion picture called…
  32. 2. HAVING FUN ALONG THE WAYIn 1941 it became a major motion picture called…
  33. 2. HAVING FUN ALONG THE WAY
  34. 2. HAVING FUN ALONG THE WAY
  35. 2. HAVING FUN ALONG THE WAYHammett’s was a new type of detective story.
  36. 2. HAVING FUN ALONG THE WAY “WE HAVE A NAME IN THE STUDIO…WE CALL IT THE ‘M AC GUFFIN’” – ALFRED HITCHCOCK
  37. 2. HAVING FUN ALONG THE WAY MacGuffin¦mə gʌf n¦(also McGuffin) noun An object in a story which serves merely as a trigger for the plot. “WE HAVE A NAME IN THE STUDIO…WE CALL IT THE ‘M AC GUFFIN’” – ALFRED HITCHCOCK
  38. 2. HAVING FUN ALONG THE WAY MacGuffin¦mə gʌf n¦(also McGuffin) noun An object in a story which serves merely as a trigger for the plot. “WE HAVE A NAME IN THE STUDIO…WE CALL IT THE ‘M AC GUFFIN’” – ALFRED HITCHCOCK
  39. 2. HAVING FUN ALONG THE WAY MacGuffin¦mə gʌf n¦(also McGuffin) noun An object in a story which serves merely as a trigger for the plot. “WE HAVE A NAME IN THE STUDIO…WE CALL IT THE ‘M AC GUFFIN’” – ALFRED HITCHCOCK
  40. 2. HAVING FUN ALONG THE WAYMacGuffins have effects that ought to interest usas product makers.
  41. 2. HAVING FUN ALONG THE WAY MacGuffins have effects that ought to interest us as product makers.✦ They attract an audience✦ They trigger action✦ And everyone has fun along the way
  42. 2. HAVING FUN ALONG THE WAY Product MacGuffin¦ pr dʌkt mə gʌf n¦ noun A trope in an online product which serves merely as a trigger for the user experience. Often evokes a real-world experience we’re familiar with.
  43. 3. THIS IS MY JAMAbout a year ago, we started thinking about whatour version of a ‘records & friends’ product wouldfeel like.
  44. 3. THIS IS MY JAMAbout a year ago, we started thinking about whatour version of a ‘records & friends’ product wouldfeel like.
  45. 3. THIS IS MY JAM
  46. 3. THIS IS MY JAM
  47. 3. THIS IS MY JAM
  48. 3. THIS IS MY JAM Constraints:✦ Happens in the same room✦ Happens in real-time✦ You need friends✦ Works best with 1-10 people✦ You need a record player✦ You need records✦ You need to choose at the pace of a song (3 min)✦ You have to pick from someone’s collection✦ You can only share one thing at a time
  49. 3. THIS IS MY JAM Constraints:✦ Happens in the same room✦ Happens in real-time✦ You need friends✦ Works best with 1-10 people✦ You need a record player✦ You need records✦ You need to choose at the pace of a song (3 min)✦ You have to pick from someone’s collection✦ You can only share one thing at a time
  50. 3. THIS IS MY JAM Share one song at a time.1
  51. 3. THIS IS MY JAM Share one song at a time. 21
  52. 3. THIS IS MY JAMThe song stays on your profile for up to seven days.
  53. 3. THIS IS MY JAMThe outcome is incredibly high quality of music.
  54. 3. THIS IS MY JAMBut maybe we should have given it a better name.
  55. 3. THIS IS MY JAMPeople have fun along the way, and feel like they’resharing records with friends.
  56. 3. THIS IS MY JAMPeople have fun along the way, and feel like they’resharing records with friends. Chris Thorpe @jaggeree 27 Jan 12 @ThisIsMyJam is closest thing Ive felt for a while to the John Peel show I remember from youth. You may not like all but discovery is key.
  57. 4. CONCLUSIONThe next time you, or someone you work with,gets the urge to build something like “That________ we used to do before the internet”
  58. 4. CONCLUSIONDon’t sweat it. Go from “this is the product itself”to “this is our product’s MacGuffin”
  59. 4. CONCLUSIONDon’t sweat it. Go from “this is the product itself”to “this is our product’s MacGuffin”
  60. 4. CONCLUSIONInterrogate the real-life experience. List theoutcomes, behaviours and constraints.
  61. 4. CONCLUSIONPick the smallest number of constraints youfeel are necessary to evoke the experience.
  62. 4. CONCLUSIONPick the smallest number of constraints youfeel are necessary to evoke the experience.
  63. 4. CONCLUSIONExperiment! Build a prototype and see if youchose the right constraints to elicit the behavioursand outcomes of the real life experience.
  64. 4. CONCLUSIONAnd you might just create an experience that –like Hammett’s groundbreaking new type ofdetective story – might be new.
  65. 4. CONCLUSIONA product delightfully informed by the past butnot weighed down by it.
  66. 4. CONCLUSIONA product delightfully informed by the past butnot weighed down by it.
  67. 4. CONCLUSIONThanks for listening. Have questions? Get intouch online: @han & @flaneurPHOTO CREDITS (IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE)Postcards – Silvia Sala on FlickrWatching TV together, c. 1950s – The TelegraphStudents relax with a newspaper and a portable record player, c. 1950s – Vassar College ArchivesYoung couple listening to music, 1962 – Daily Herald Archive, National Media MuseumKids listening to records, 1958 – Adventures in Indoor Color Slides (Kodak), via Antiquarian HolographicaAlfred Hitchcock, 1942 – LIFE Magazine, via RetronautStudents listening to records in their dorm, 1930s – Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan

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