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A Pleasure Doing Business—Stephen P. Anderson

June 22, 2012

Stephen Anderson‘s session was a perfect way to close out the Summit. Stephen discusses how technical communicators can use psychology to improve their customers’ experiences with software, documentation, and products. In his session, he focused on a few possibilities, which are explained in his Mental Notes card deck. Here are just a few of his ideas:

  • Set collection: Once a user has completed a portion of tasks, let them know how close they are to completing all of the tasks. Use a progress mechanic to show sequencing, appropriate challenges, and status.
  • Delighters: Use plain language and humor to be effective in your communication. For a great example of how to include delighters, watch Virgin America’s FAA required safety video. Make users happy to complete tasks for the reward of something fun and enjoyable at the end of each task.
  • Scarcity: When something is not easily available, people want it. We feel our freedom is threatened when something might not be available. If you limit how often users can rate, then they value those ratings more and carefully share those ratings.

If you want to know about other ways to encourage good use of tools and technology, hear Stephen speak at an event or get his cards.

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