Book cover

Here are my notes from Badass: Making Users Awesome:

  • Focus on word-of-mouth marketing. How can you create a product that users want to tell their friends about? And avoid gimmicks like rewarding users for tweeting or liking company stuff.
  • The goal is not to create an awesome product. The goal is to make your users awesome when they use your product. When you genuinely make people’s lives better, they can’t help but tell their friends.
  • How can you help users solve their problems and achieve their goals as quickly as possible? Make users the hero of their own story.
  • What can your users do, with your product, that they couldn’t do before? How does your product make users more powerful?
  • We all know about buyer’s remorse. How will your product delight users after the purchase?
  • Don’t compare your company to your competitors. Compare your users to your competitors’ users. Are your users more powerful? Are they better equipped to achieve their dreams?
  • It’s not enough to improve your users’ skills. You need to help them recognize that they’re improving each day.
  • When users are learning a new skill, tell them upfront that it’s normal to suck at first. Then show them the path to make incremental improvements with minimal effort.
  • Give users a path to follow. The path shows their starting position and shows all the steps to their destination. The path could be a visual map, or it could have levels like with karate belts: white belt, yellow belt, … black belt.
  • Each stage in the path defines what users can do and not what they’ll learn. Advancing in the path is about increasing abilities. Instead of “In stage 7 you’ll learn…” have “After stage 7 you’ll be able to…”
  • You can create your own path, but you might be reinventing the wheel. Research to see if good paths already exist.
  • As you teach users new skills, introduce users to the skill’s jargon.
  • Don’t demand users memorize stuff. Make their journey easier with printable glossaries, checklists, and cheat sheets.
  • Help users build habits and set up reminders.
  • Our brains prefer just-in-time info over just-in-case info. So don’t overwhelm users with lots of information upfront. Only give them enough new info for them to master the next skill.