11.13.2007

Use-A-Bility or Why They Come
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Sometimes we get asked interesting questions. "Why do you have this or that game, why do you have a 'different' log-in process, etc., etc?"

This site has been an experiment in simplicity, among other things, including scientifically validated games and tests.

We thought that people would be more likely to sign-up if everything was at least 50% easier than the usual site. So it is. You just have to log-in with a quick one step process, which also puts you in touch with us for as long as you have your email address.

Simple design leads to other advantages as well - a more organic following. We're not to the extreme of let's say Jakob Nielsen, who argued that Flash be banned for several years, nor are we desperate for the latest Ajax style trends, some of which complicate the interface with superfluous motion and activity and require doubleclicking rather than single clicking.

The idea is to achieve a harmonious balance between elements that contribute to a simple but useful experience. As a result, there is an increasing returns trend with sign-ups, where we are probably 3X-5X more effective than 'standard' sites and may be less plagued by bot sign-ups that can easily (and do) defeat capchas - the squiggly letters and numbers that you are often asked to enter. A case study is the discussion board, where a standard log-in process (with capcha) is in effect.A simple, in-line system (as featured on 99% of the site) defeats the registration bots, as nonconforming registrations are simply deleted. This, explains the information approach. The simpler the better.

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