Class_10: Game Dynamics

Date: April 28, 2011
Audio: weigend_stanford2011.10_2011.04.28.mp3
Initial authors:[Emma Medjuck,], [He(Mary) YANG,], [Yenan(Alice) CHEN,]

Key Points

  • Review and revisit of influence discussion
  • Guest: Adrian Chan
  • Game dynamics - this will be important for DF4 (we need to design some game dynamics to get more people to scan our shirts)


  • Rio has fixed some bugs for
  • Next Tuesday: Drill down on privacy issue, Brad Rubenstein from Goldman Sachs is coming in
  • Next Thursday: Identity and reputation systems

Homework 3

  • The first part of HW3 is about clustering students
    • Imagine you can only print 4 catalogs of students in class, you want to find a good way put people into subgroups
    • The key is to learn the interpretation of what those clusters mean, not just getting your algorithm to run
    • Conditional vs. Unconditional properties: conditional property is where the demographics of the cluster significantly differ from the demographics of the class. For instance, if a cluster is 90% female then it is conditional.
    • Social commerce idea: you are buying the brand, the mode your friend is buying
  • The second part is about segmenting and determining how you will recommend people to on another

Guest Speaker: Adrian Chan

  • Stanford Alumni
  • Spent 8 years doing web design, now focuses on social interaction design
  • Adrian draws upon his theoretical background to be the "urban planner" for social media website "architecture"
  • Discussion with Adrian about what we found out about influence in HW2:
    • Student: Data metrics are much more qualitative than quantitative. It is all about what metrics you choose to use
  • Adrian worked with Klout to develop their personality types
    • They originally had 4 personality types but wanted to expand to 16
    • Used to not have timely enough information (updating only once a week to a month) to track changes, but this has been improved
  • It is important to look at people’s motives when looking at influence (i.e. some people use Twitter to publish and others use it for interpersonal reasons)
  • Adrian thinks it does not make sense to have just one number to classify influence, though this is what marketing types want
  • Following is an unactive communicating without say anything, cost nothing
  • Influence is really in the eye of the audience, if they do not find you credible then your influence is meaningless
  • Adrian questions whether influence even matters (whether the concept is proper)
  • Designers think they influence users, but users should actually influence designers.

Adrian’s Social Communication Theories

  • In design world, interaction is between user and software application; in social tool, it's between users, mediated by applications.
  • The screen has 3 modes
    • Mirror: reflects us in a socialized self image since we are aware that it is seen
    • Window: tool for communication, it’s interface is less relevant because you are relating to another person
    • Surface: used for displaying and presenting content, what most designers are used to working with.
  • There are 3 types of people. (We are all a mix of various proportions of the 3 types)
    • Self-oriented: Is very used to self talk and pushing content out into the world
    • Other-oriented: Thinks it’s a bit weird to talk about yourself and will be more conversational and reply to people
    • Relational: Someone who is more activity oriented and is building connections in society
  • Example:
    • The effectiveness of a traditional interaction tool is easy to measure. You can easily see if an online banking system allows users to conveniently transfer money from one account to another.
    • In designing social interaction tool, transactions are not discrete. Sociologists call it ongoing open state of talk, which starts and stops whenever you want to.

Example: Peerpong

  • Was a chatroom answer service
  • CEO had a “god problem”: he was trying to solve everything with one solution
  • Peerpong had a two user problem- they had to satisfy two users
    • The questions asker has a clear motive but the answerer does not
      • How can you satisfy them if you don’t know what their motive is?
    • You need to structure a system so people will get what they want - this is what Quora does really well
    • Quora question: Why do people answer questions on online
  • Foursquare is another example of this
    • But are people really using foursquare so they can be the mayor of Coupa Cafe or is it a tool to let their friends know where they are?

    • Hereis an interesting article on the possible motivations for why people use FourSquare. The bullet points are below:
      • You're playing a game
      • You can find friends in your area
      • It's like a status update but with an added layer of location
      • It's like a real-time, interactive Yelp
      • You get rewards for being a loyal costumer at some places
      • You're providing a rich data history that can be useful in later apps/developments

Game Mechanics

  • The Khan Academy also uses gamification as part of it’s teaching strategy
  • Gamification has brought in a new form of business consulting that helps invigorate old stale websites. This BusinessWeek article on gamification talks about techniques like countdowns on Gilt Groupe and progress bars on LinkedIn to motivate people.
  • Kiip allows developers to integrate a gamified ad network into their app that rewards players with advertisements upon achieving milestones.
  • Founder of SCVNGR, a company that is building a "game layer on top of the world," on game dynamics: