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Kathy Sierra - building badass users

It's about users and their context - not about your product. 

In the following presentation Kathy explains the concept of "badass" users and the importance to focus on building badass users:

And in this presentation, Kathy develops the idea of badass people instead of badass products. She also talks about cognitive leaks that we need to watch out when building new products.

Badass users

Kathy has a very interesting idea, that seems easy to understand but quite complicated to follow. The idea being: we should build badass users, not badass products.

Imagine that you're buying newest and coolest photo camera. Do you buy it to be an expert of this particular camera, or you buy it to be a badass photographer and make great shots?

You and your context are what matters, not the product itself. Great products empower their users to make great things with their help.

Engagement is not our problem.
"If only I've been more engaged with that brand" 
Loyalty is not our goal.
"Your customer will not take a bullet for you"
"92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family about all other forms of advertising when making purchase decisions" Nielsen study / Business news daily 2012
People don't use your product because they like it or they like you. They use it because they like themselves. They want to become better at what they're doing, not in your product. They want to become experts in their context. They want to become experts among their friends and family.

So instead of spending millions and years to make a product awesome, spend all resources to make your users awesome.
When you build your product, ask yourself - what bigger things I am enabling ?

How do we build badass users? Who is badass? 

Badass is not a one shot brilliant, but consistently over a period of time brilliant.
Badass is an expert at something. At something they do. In their context. The badass photographer makes breathtaking shots. Badass cook makes such a great steak, that you bite your fork. Badass writer's book keep you awake the entire night. Badass does things more repeatedly, more reliably.
Experts are not what they know, but what they do. Experts are active practitioners.

How to build badass? - one word: practice.  

The big 3 myths about experience:
  • Experience comes from more knowledge
  • Experience comes from more experience
  • Experience requires natural talent

The 3 of badass building

Provide high-quality, high-quantity examples of badass
Edge practice
Provide exercises designed to build precise, measurable, fine-grained skills in 1-3 sessions
Forward flow
Provide motivation to keep users making forward progress

Remember that your user cognitive resources are scarce, limited and easily depleted. Don't waste this rare gold by making wrong designs, UX or business decisions. Think about problems your product solves, think about people who use it and design to make those people badass at what they're doing.

Learn more about building badass users here:

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