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Irresistible Apps: Motivational Design Patterns for Apps, Games, and Web-based Communities


When you create an app, a website, or a game, how do you attract users, and perhaps more importantly, how do you keep them? Irresistible Apps explains exactly how to do this using a library of 27 motivational design patterns and real-world examples of how they work. 

As a developer, you need to retain users in the new economy of advertisements, subscriptions, and in-app purchases, but how do you do this? How do some applications keep users coming back? Why do people spend hours and hours playing World of Warcraft? Why do people care about Reddit karma? What makes customers keep buying from Amazon? Why do so many people love Khan Academy?

The answers are found in Gameful, Social, Interface, and Information patterns. Not only will you learn about these patterns, you’ll also learn why they work using psychological theories of intrinsic motivation, behavioral psychology, and behavioral economics. Good and bad implementations of the patterns are shown so practitioners can use them effectively and avoid pitfalls along the way.

What you’ll learn

  • How to use motivational design patterns to create meaningful user experiences
  • How to write motivational user stories
  • About the psychology of your users
  • Techniques for improving your software in ways your users will notice
  • How to analyze software for motivational effectiveness using case studies and the pattern library
  • How to apply psychological principles and patterns to solve sample design problems

Who this book is for

This book is for software designers and developers working on mobile and web apps, especially those using retention-based payment models. It's also for academics and students working on Human-Computer Interface and Software Engineering.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction to Motivational Design
  2. Psychology of Motivation
  3. Understanding Patterns
  4. Gameful Patterns
  5. Social Patterns
  6. Interface Patterns
  7. Information Patterns
  8. Understanding Motivational Dark Patterns
  9. Temporal Dark Patterns
  10. Monetary Dark Patterns
  11. Social Capital Dark Patterns
  12. Patterns as Analysis
  13. Patterns as Design Tools
  14. The End Is the Beginning
  15. Bibliography
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