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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2011
Stephen Anderson does an excellent job introducing the questions that we ask ourselves when we visit a website, open software, buy physical products, and gravitate toward certain people. The book's psychological approach to explaining the catalysts and triggers of human behavior is thorough and provides good examples of how to use those triggers to create a lasting and impressionable experiences. There are 25 chapters which are grouped into four sections...see section descriptions or skip to the bottom line.

Section one (Aesthetics, Beauty, and Behavior) covers topics like gestalt principles/psychology, perceived affordances, product credibility and personality, affect, cognition, and association. Anderson makes plenty of references to other quintessential UX books such as Designing with the Mind in Mind by Jeff Johnson, Visual Thinking for Design by Colin Ware, and Emotional Design by Donald Norman. Section two (Playful Seduction) covers ways to engage audiences with positive affective states such as humor, the mystique of unexpected behavior, and `delighters'. Anderson also uses specific phenomenon such as the information gap theory to explain alternate methods of eliminating the feeling of deprivation in users seeking information. Section three (The subtle Art of Seduction) covers some of the covert ways that our behavior is influenced by revealing topics such as the endowed progress effect, default options, and the many interfaces that offer suggestions such as Twitter's `Who to follow'. Topics such as loss aversion were clearly outlined and empowers users to be more aware of the influences we encounter while online. Section four (The Game of Seduction) takes a gamification approach to explaining the intrigue of certain user experiences. Anderson explains the power of `fun' by introducing the elements of game design (challenges, choices, and conflicts)

BOTTOM LINE
This book provided so many examples and references that even a proficient UX specialist would learn something new or easily be referred to other helpful sources of information. Rarely have I found so much information packed into such a short book. I highly recommend the book for newcomers to UX, but I also encourage experienced practitioners to grab a copy for reference.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
I love this book. You can get something useful just by randomly opening it to any page, though I strongly suggest reading it start to finish, and then again with a highlighter! I was looking forward to this book for some time, though a little skeptical given: A) the bold promise of the book and B) this is a topic my own work centers around, so my bar was set quite high. But after spending time with the book, I believe it will be a *HUGE* help to anyone who takes the messages within it seriously.

It's a playful book on a playful topic, but that doesn't mean it isn't powerful. The author has done an amazing job of synthesizing research and implementation ideas from a wide range of domains, all devoted to one goal: creating sustainably engaging user experiences. He manages to do this while including a topic that I typically do NOT like: gamification. However, the author understands the deep implications of how these (game mechanics) techniques can be used, and stays focused on a user-centered context (as opposed to pure marketing-driven manipulation).

This book may look like yet another superficial "make things fun" or even "delightful customer experiences" book, but it's much more. If you want to give your users richer experiences at every level from initial exposure to more advanced use, and create users/customers more likely to stick around and grow with the product, I recommend this book. It's the only book I have found that summarizes these topics in a useful, actionable, way.

Footnote: I was shocked to find my name listed in the credits as an "inspiration" for the topic. I don't know the author, and I would have been extremely disappointed if the book failed to live up to its promise, given my "association" with it. So I was both relieved and thrilled with how helpful and insightful the book is. As an end-user of many, many products and services, I want a world where those who design and deliver user experiences have taken the message of this book seriously.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2012
OK ... lots of rave reviews on this one. What am I missing? I just don't see it. I think this book is fine. There are some cute stories to spark ideas. There is a strong emphasis on delighting the user with unexpected personalization during their experience... yup, that's good. And that's why this is three stars, not less. I can see how the book can capture the reader's attention, although maybe not for more than a few pages per sitting. The layout is clean/well-done. But I honestly think a group of friends hanging-out at Starbucks on a Sunday morning could muse at least half of what's here. I suppose there's value in having these ideas compiled in a book as opposed to quickly-forgotten musings over scones and a Latte. But I'm not seeing anything here that's really sticking as I contemplate designing a website.

Here's a test for you. If you're considering buying this book ... how much did the title effect your decision to surf to this page? If the title is the only reason you're here, then you can expect that experience to translate to pretty much every page of this book. It's all about the quick 'grab' ... not too much substance after that. So, I guess if that's the kind of inspiration you're looking for then this book is for you. Hey, it got me to buy the book. I totally have to cop to that.

And to be honest that's the only reason I gave it three stars. I bought the book ... LOL! I didn't hate it ... just didn't get the kind of zing that apparently others got. Oh well. Keeping it ... but not loving it. And definitely not seduced by it. I'd need a LOT more substance for that :)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2011
What is it that makes some software addictive and enjoyable to use so much of the time software feels tedious and dull? If registration forms are inherently dull, how is it that the registration process for the iLike website is so interesting that people voluntarily answer pages of extra questions? These are the kinds of questions that Stephen Anderson tackles in this beautiful, entertaining book.

I should disclose that I was one of a great many people Stephen Anderson interviewed in researching this book, so I have been fascinated to see what he made of it all. What he has done is put together an excellent collection of tips and tricks that can be used by anyone designing a website, mobile app or even mundane software like a timesheet system to get users engaged and enthused. And if you can do that then your software is more likely to be effective and popular.

Each point is backed up by a memorable example and psychological principles - so whether you're staring at a blank sheet of paper hoping for inspiration, or sitting in a meeting trying to decide how to improve your website, you'll find yourself recalling examples and ideas from this book.

It's practical and enjoyable - whether you're designing your first website or a seasoned professional I'd recommend it as a source of inspiration and ideas.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2013
This book takes interaction design away from user friendliness to using insights in human behavior to improve the user experience and reaching your businesss goals. It also transfers principles and ideas used in the gaming industry to business applications. An interesting read that will give you quite some novel ideas. However not all ideas are backed up by solid research or proof in the real world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2013
This book covers a lot of useful information about effective user experiences and tactics for engaging the users, and it includes references to great books where it got information from. Overall, I think I learned a lot from it.

My two main complaints with the book are:
1. It relies too heavily on other people's research and analysis; it seems that the author is excited about interface design, marketing, and customer "seduction" techniques, but hasn't taken the time to truly digest them and make sense of them in his own way.
2. As a result of complaint #1, some parts of the book are choppy, not flowing very well, especially near the end.

I think that if the author took more time to understand and communicate the topics he discusses deeper, it might have been a great book, but in its current shape, it's about a 3.5 or 4 star book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2013
I'm not a UX expert, but rather a web developer with a huge desire to take an existing interface and make it more compelling to users. For me, this book was exactly what I needed, because it helped me to better understand the psychological triggers that lead to delight and encourage us to come back for more.

For other developers who've maybe read or try to adhere to the concept of 'don't make me think', this should be the next step along the path to understanding and growing your audience. While an interface that is functional and unobtrusive is great, this book will teach you how make your experience one that will leave a lasting positive impression on its users.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2012
One of the rare books on design and web.This book looks at the psyche of web designs. I have been reading many books on usability & also on the web design. But the gap was missing on the emotional part - where you need tools to understand how to inspire through design. This book perfectly fills in the gap. Also, there are many examples of sites ( and others ) in the books which the author decodes and gives his reasoning.

One of the best books to get thinking on the approach to motivations of designs. Thanks for making such an abstract concept into a nice enjoyable readable book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2014
I am not a designer, but was enthralled with this book at a friend's house. Read most of it, and got a lot out of it. It is not just for designers. I feel it is valuable to anyone who owns or operates a business, which I do. It clearly explains human motivations, how to connect with clients and customers on an emotional level for the purpose of increasing you business and making people you deal with feel good. Many good marketing ideas are included.
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on March 18, 2014
This book gave me new and valuable perspectives on a design project I am working on. The ideas are well thought out. The author is intelligent and modest with a clear and easy to follow style.

More and more it seems as though emotion is what drives decision, so it is therefore important to understand how certain products have an effect on our emotions. It is important to understand how to effect emotion in others through design and testing.

If you are designing a novel concept of doing business then you should read this book. It will offer guidance and reference.

Even if you are doing business as usual, putting good use of some of these techniques in subtle ways will probably put you in successful regards with your customers and clients.

We create seductive design to introduce the world to our true potential and missions. If our missions and purposes are great then customers will fall in love, that is if we behave in such a way as to be lovable also. This is where design plays a part by inspiring emotion to get us to do the right things. In doing the right things, we feel good. Feeling good about what we do, does make this world a better place.
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