Cumulus Partners

12. March 2010 18:58

Keep 'em guessing ...

12. March 2010 18:58 by mike barlow | 1 Comments

Is unnecessary complexity "sticky" or just irritating? Ben Kunz deals with this question in a fascinating post, "Confusion as a design tool" on Thought Gadgets. He notes that despite its constant tinkering and tweaking, Facebook remains extraordinarily popular. Len Kendall suggests that part of the appeal is the complexity - it's like a puzzle or a game where you move to higher levels as your skills improve. Has Facebook stumbled upon a brilliantly counterintuitive marketing strategy -- keep 'em guessing, and keep 'em slightly annoyed ... and they'll keep coming back for more?

Comments (1) -

Lots of validity to this idea, but the trick is finding the right ratio of new to old. Any major jazz dude will tell you that a good solo is one that strikes a perfect balance between the expected and the unexpected: Too conventional and we grow bored; too outré and we are alienated. There's a connection here, too, to Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi's flow theory: You can find your way into "the zone" by engaging in tasks that are neither too hard nor too easy.

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