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Let’s Pretend 
Sarah Allen 
@mightyverse
Mightyverse 
A network for sharing language & culture
Mightyverse 
A network for sharing language & culture 
! 
where the people create and benefit from 
a global corpus of hum...
Marketplace for Language 
collections of language 
around an experience 
native language videos 
with translations 
across...
Social Mission 
Almost 50% of the world’s languages are endangered 
One goes extinct every 2-3 weeks 
A global, crowdsourc...
At the beginning…
2008 
Mightyverse web app 
— Rails 2.1 
— Globalize 
— whatever we used before devise 
!
2008 
Mightyverse web app 
!
2008 
Mightyverse web app 
- need to add recording feature 
!
2008 
Mightyverse web app 
- need to add recording feature 
- and fix a few bugs 
!
2008 
Mightyverse web app 
- need to add recording feature 
- and fix a few bugs 
! 
- and I needed to learn Rails
2008 
Mightyverse web app 
- need to add recording feature 
- and fix a few bugs 
! 
- and I needed to learn Rails and Rub...
2009 
Mightyverse web app 
- need to add recording feature 
- and fix a few bugs
2009 
Mightyverse web app 
- need to add recording feature 
- and fix a few bugs 
- finish application development
“the smallest thing you can 
build that lets you quickly 
make it around the 
build/measure/learn loop” 
! 
— Eric Ries
Tests Define the Product
learn: what do we know? (numbers are good) 
hypothesis: what do we believe? (numbers are good) 
test: how can we check aga...
the majority of the people in the world speak a second language
How do we find this 
huge audience of 
language learners? 
“ 
”
How could 
our target audience 
find us?
“How can you say...” Google Searches in English 
Google 
http://www.google.com/trends?q=how+do+you+say&ctab=0&geo=all&date...
“How can you say...” Google Searches in Spanish 
Google
8x increase in search traffic thru SEO
Rails 3 upgrade
dinero.com 
article
broke caching
fixed caching
green tests
green tests 
WTF?
Google Custom Alerts
Alert
Every web application 
should have an immune system.
What is does it mean for 
software to work?
Language Exchange 
Social Game 
Language learning process 
should be reflective of the 
interaction they are seeking: 
soc...
Content Creation Feedback Loop 
People can also ask 
their friends to 
record phrases 
Mightyverse 
Database 
Phrase Contr...
Content Creation Feedback Loop 
Thank you in Japanese 
More Search Results 
Mightyverse 
Database 
Phrase Contributors 
Ph...
Content Creation Feedback Loop 
Thank you in Japanese 
More Search Results 
Mightyverse 
Database 
Phrase Contributors 
We...
Social Mission of Mightyverse 
Almost 50% of the world’s languages are endangered 
One goes extinct every 2-3 weeks 
A glo...
Crowdfunding as Validation
Crowdfunding 
Lean Startup Landing Page technique 
- create an ad for your product 
- measure click-thru to validate an id...
Crowdfunding 
Lean Startup Landing Page technique ++ 
- start with an ad for your product 
- collect advance orders 
- onl...
4 Drivers of Crowdfunding Success 
Make a video (raise 115% more) 
! 
Multiple founders (raise 94% more) 
! 
Ask for less ...
4 Drivers of Crowdfunding Success 
Make a video (raise 115% more) 
! 
Multiple founders (raise 94% more) 
! 
Ask for less ...
Crowdsourcing Language
Life Cycle of a Phrase
Designing a game
Getting Gamification Right by Sebastian Deterding 
Meaning 
Connect to personal goals and passions 
! 
Mastery 
Goal + rul...
for learning “ ” 
Fun is just another word 
RAPH KOSTER
“ 
Fun is just another word 
for learning 
under optimal conditions ” 
SEBASTIAN DETERDING
Getting Gamification Right by Sebastian Deterding 
Think design process not features. 
! 
Know your users: 
you are not yo...
Getting Gamification Right by Sebastian Deterding 
Create a paper prototype. 
Play test and iterate.
Test #1 
Did we have fun?
Test #1 
Did we have fun?
Best Practices in Language 
! 
Immersive yourself in your new language 
Don’t speak your native language 
Avoid relying on...
Test #2 
Are we moving toward our goal?
Test #2 
Are we moving toward our goal?
Test #2 
Are we moving toward our goal?
What did we learn? 
Both games were fun. 
! 
This game was much simpler. 
Only required one bilingual player. 
!
What did we learn? 
Both games were fun. 
! 
This game was much simpler. 
Only required one bilingual player. 
! 
This cou...
unit of progress 
for start-ups “ 
Learning is the essential 
” 
ERIC RIES
Test #3 
Would anyone else play our game?
Shut up and sit in the corner and watch. 
See if people who play your game are having fun 
and playing the way you expect,...
M. E. Stevens
What did we learn? 
Validation of our language learning model 
- helps people learn 
- sparks curiosity 
- scalable across...
New Experimental iPhone App 
! 
! 
! 
! 
! 
! 
! 
! 
Thanks John Fox! @djembe
Tweet 
@mightyverse How do you say “_________” in 
Spanish? #rmr2014 
! 
or 
! 
@mightyverse How do you say “_________” in...
“Agile is what works. ” 
KENT BECK
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Let's pretend

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Playing is simple, even a child can do it, but designing something simple is hard. How can we combine prototyping with production software to get our ideas in front of real people? How can we evolve our software over time? How do we measure if something is fun?

I will talk about how Ruby’s flexibility and a strong testing ethos can bring some sanity to this uncertain world. And when I say testing, I’m not just talking about RSpec, Cucumber or Capybara, I’ll share stories from Mightyverse about how we test whether our software actually “works” for the people who use it — sharing failures, I mean, learning, as well as success.

Published in: Internet
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Let's pretend

  1. 1. Let’s Pretend Sarah Allen @mightyverse
  2. 2. Mightyverse A network for sharing language & culture
  3. 3. Mightyverse A network for sharing language & culture ! where the people create and benefit from a global corpus of human spoken language.
  4. 4. Marketplace for Language collections of language around an experience native language videos with translations across multiple languages
  5. 5. Social Mission Almost 50% of the world’s languages are endangered One goes extinct every 2-3 weeks A global, crowdsourced living language community can make documenting an endangered language easy and accessible to all.
  6. 6. At the beginning…
  7. 7. 2008 Mightyverse web app — Rails 2.1 — Globalize — whatever we used before devise !
  8. 8. 2008 Mightyverse web app !
  9. 9. 2008 Mightyverse web app - need to add recording feature !
  10. 10. 2008 Mightyverse web app - need to add recording feature - and fix a few bugs !
  11. 11. 2008 Mightyverse web app - need to add recording feature - and fix a few bugs ! - and I needed to learn Rails
  12. 12. 2008 Mightyverse web app - need to add recording feature - and fix a few bugs ! - and I needed to learn Rails and Ruby
  13. 13. 2009 Mightyverse web app - need to add recording feature - and fix a few bugs
  14. 14. 2009 Mightyverse web app - need to add recording feature - and fix a few bugs - finish application development
  15. 15. “the smallest thing you can build that lets you quickly make it around the build/measure/learn loop” ! — Eric Ries
  16. 16. Tests Define the Product
  17. 17. learn: what do we know? (numbers are good) hypothesis: what do we believe? (numbers are good) test: how can we check against reality? analyze: does the data support our hypothesis?
  18. 18. the majority of the people in the world speak a second language
  19. 19. How do we find this huge audience of language learners? “ ”
  20. 20. How could our target audience find us?
  21. 21. “How can you say...” Google Searches in English Google http://www.google.com/trends?q=how+do+you+say&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0
  22. 22. “How can you say...” Google Searches in Spanish Google
  23. 23. 8x increase in search traffic thru SEO
  24. 24. Rails 3 upgrade
  25. 25. dinero.com article
  26. 26. broke caching
  27. 27. fixed caching
  28. 28. green tests
  29. 29. green tests WTF?
  30. 30. Google Custom Alerts
  31. 31. Alert
  32. 32. Every web application should have an immune system.
  33. 33. What is does it mean for software to work?
  34. 34. Language Exchange Social Game Language learning process should be reflective of the interaction they are seeking: social, engaging, fun Web App Mightyverse Database View Record Request Juan Bill Xian
  35. 35. Content Creation Feedback Loop People can also ask their friends to record phrases Mightyverse Database Phrase Contributors
  36. 36. Content Creation Feedback Loop Thank you in Japanese More Search Results Mightyverse Database Phrase Contributors Phrase videos create phrase pages
  37. 37. Content Creation Feedback Loop Thank you in Japanese More Search Results Mightyverse Database Phrase Contributors Web App Phrase pages drive traffic
  38. 38. Social Mission of Mightyverse Almost 50% of the world’s languages are endangered One goes extinct every 2-3 weeks A global, crowdsourced living language community can make documenting an endangered language easy and accessible to all.
  39. 39. Crowdfunding as Validation
  40. 40. Crowdfunding Lean Startup Landing Page technique - create an ad for your product - measure click-thru to validate an idea
  41. 41. Crowdfunding Lean Startup Landing Page technique ++ - start with an ad for your product - collect advance orders - only create the product, if you raise enough funds to build it
  42. 42. 4 Drivers of Crowdfunding Success Make a video (raise 115% more) ! Multiple founders (raise 94% more) ! Ask for less than $10,000 ! Experience running a successful campaign
  43. 43. 4 Drivers of Crowdfunding Success Make a video (raise 115% more) ! Multiple founders (raise 94% more) ! Ask for less than $10,000 ! Experience running a successful campaign <$10K 38% success < $50K 18% success < $100K 7% success
  44. 44. Crowdsourcing Language
  45. 45. Life Cycle of a Phrase
  46. 46. Designing a game
  47. 47. Getting Gamification Right by Sebastian Deterding Meaning Connect to personal goals and passions ! Mastery Goal + rules create interesting challenges ! Autonomy A sense of freedom, the ability to curiously explore opportunity”
  48. 48. for learning “ ” Fun is just another word RAPH KOSTER
  49. 49. “ Fun is just another word for learning under optimal conditions ” SEBASTIAN DETERDING
  50. 50. Getting Gamification Right by Sebastian Deterding Think design process not features. ! Know your users: you are not your target audience.
  51. 51. Getting Gamification Right by Sebastian Deterding Create a paper prototype. Play test and iterate.
  52. 52. Test #1 Did we have fun?
  53. 53. Test #1 Did we have fun?
  54. 54. Best Practices in Language ! Immersive yourself in your new language Don’t speak your native language Avoid relying on translations
  55. 55. Test #2 Are we moving toward our goal?
  56. 56. Test #2 Are we moving toward our goal?
  57. 57. Test #2 Are we moving toward our goal?
  58. 58. What did we learn? Both games were fun. ! This game was much simpler. Only required one bilingual player. !
  59. 59. What did we learn? Both games were fun. ! This game was much simpler. Only required one bilingual player. ! This could actually work as a card game…
  60. 60. unit of progress for start-ups “ Learning is the essential ” ERIC RIES
  61. 61. Test #3 Would anyone else play our game?
  62. 62. Shut up and sit in the corner and watch. See if people who play your game are having fun and playing the way you expect, and are able to learn the rules easily “ ” MATT LEACOCK
  63. 63. M. E. Stevens
  64. 64. What did we learn? Validation of our language learning model - helps people learn - sparks curiosity - scalable across language ! The game created an ecosystem !
  65. 65. New Experimental iPhone App ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Thanks John Fox! @djembe
  66. 66. Tweet @mightyverse How do you say “_________” in Spanish? #rmr2014 ! or ! @mightyverse How do you say “_________” in Japanese? #rmr2014
  67. 67. “Agile is what works. ” KENT BECK

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