7 September 2007 @ 8pm

API, strategy, web2.0

Breaking Users Out of Mental Models; Breaking Out of Your Own

From Dick Costolo’s very good Ask the Wizard:

We all have mental models that we’ve built up over the years and we use these models to judge new ideas and services that we see, and this is the reason people came up with terms like “horseless carriage” when cars were invented. … we try to make things fit into our existing models, and we all have slightly to very different mental models. Make sure you provide explicit examples of the powerful use or implementation of your service and don’t just expect people to ‘find’ it on their own. Similarly, pay careful attention to the things that people do with your technology/service/product, because some of them may have discovered a powerful use for it that has completely evaded you.

Brian Oberkirch then riffs off that to note the power of APIs, at The Internet is Smarter Than You Are, where he references his own earlier post, Designing for Hackability. We really need to get an API figured out for PearBudget. Actually, we need to get a lot figured out for PearBudget.

The original post that quote came from is Lessons Learned: Obviously, it’s not Obvious.

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