Marketing Magazine: Things Marketers Can Learn From Candy Crush

Articles like these make me proud of being part of a Product Dev team, during my younger years at work.

With this article, I think Marketing Magazine is able to express how the older model of advertising needs to change.

People Like Us (by which I mean those who work in digital agencies) rarely congratulate Candy Crush developer King for this trick of turning a little puzzle into a massive load of money.

Making lines of four things isn’t new enough as a game idea to impress us. Which is not a problem for  King; its later launches use exactly the same “matching” gameplay. Indeed, King cites the repeatable nature of its game development as what makes the company’s value sustainable.

Perhaps it will one day spend its millions on a new game idea that People Like Us like, and it can enjoy the fleeting glory of our admiration….

This is what King has to teach us, if we will only put our critically acclaimed, animated adventures down and listen. It updates that game every two weeks. After the launch of your brilliant app or game or website or campaign idea, how often do you return to it to add more to it, really? It’s something the older folk in advertising may recognise in the development of long-running brand ideas…

Are there 73 episodes of your brand idea, app or content platform? And when you launch that innovative new ‘thing’, be it a campaign, a website or, perhaps, a small loveable wireless printer, have you committed yourself to 1075 levels of increasingly addictive interpretations and uses of it? Does it even momentarily cure low self-esteem, or might it inexorably distract someone’s attention wholly from whatever it is they are doing (and not just play in the background)?

In a world of thousands of ‘new things’, made by thousands of Imagineers and their ilk, we could probably stand for some ‘things’ to last a bit longer than their launch period. We could stand for some of them to hold our attention for longer than it takes to grasp the story the first time.


Hooked’s Eyal: 3 Steps to Hooking Users

Nir Eyal wrote “Hooked”, a book on developing strategies to hook users into products.

The first post from him that I came across talked about three (3) steps to make your users form a habit:


Now that you have the requisite site and stats, you need to answer the first question of Habit Testing: “Who are the habitual users?” First, define what it means to be a devoted user. Ask yourself how often a user “should” use the site. That is to say, assuming that some day all the bugs are worked out…how often would you expect a habitual user to be on the site?

Be realistic and honest… you’re just looking for a realistic guess to calibrate how often users will interact with your site.


Now that you know how often a user “should” be using the site, it’s time to crunch through the numbers and identify how many of your users actually meet that bar. This is where hiring a stats wiz can prove exceedingly helpful. …The best practice here is to get create a cohort analysis to provide a baseline by which to measure future product iterations.


Hopefully, you’ll have at least a few users who interact frequently enough for you to call them devotees. But how many devotees is enough? My rule of thumb is 5%. Though your rate of active users will need to be much higher to sustain your business, 5% is a good benchmark to being Habit Testing.

However, if at least 5% of your users don’t find your product valuable enough to use as much as you predicted they should, you have a problem.

…Even if you have a standard user flow, how users engage with your site creates a unique data fingerprint which can be analyzed to find patterns. Sift through the data to determine if there are similar behaviors that emerge. What you’ll hopefully discover is a “Habit Path”, a series of similar behaviors shared by your most loyal users.


With new hypotheses in mind, it’s time to get back inside the build, measure, learn loop and take new users down the same Habit Path the devotees took. For example, leveraging their Habit Path, Twitter’s onboarding process now guides new users to start following others immediately.

Teenage Engineering: The group that helped Ikea make a digicam out of cardboard

Ohmilawrd.  This site deserves its own entry.

Teenage Engineering was mentioned in the articles for IKEA KNÄPPA, the cheapest digital camera created, crafted from cardboard, featured on petapixel.

Teenage Engineering worked with Ikea on the camera, and with a name like that, I had to check out their site (wrong pronoun placement/use of antecedents).

I have to post their “About Us”-slash-“Careers” page.  I would like to work for a place that thinks of pages like this (but that’s just the fangirl in me talking):

The Stockholm agency’s current main product is a digital synthesizer and this is their product feature page:

That’s really all.  I just really wanted to show their site off. Haha nice clean, but colorfully loud aesthetic, highlighting their products.

P.S. While, I’m at it – this PS AT HOME site by Ikea, also a great idea.

Featuring their products in actual people’s homes.  Good strategy.

Grab bag: Design and architecture

Still cleaning up open tabs.  This will end someday and I will get around to actual writing. Soon, soon.

Accurate fake sunlight.  Beautifully practical Japanese objects. Friends of Type. Mon Zamora photos. A graffiti motion capture program. Andy Baio essay-article on the limits of intellectual property in design.  Design documentaries. Business card design. Brand memory game. Old-school medicine labels. Papercraft infgraphics.

1.  Daniel Rybakken‘s smart optical trickery – “subconscious effect of daylight”.  Replicating the appearance of sunlight in a windowless room using 6000 LED bulbs. Cool. via Couleurblind

Rybakken's "subconscious effect of daylight"

2.  I like how this book celebrates the Japanese regard for the beauty and aesthetic of everyday objects. Yay for the Japanese Ministry of Economy! via

365 Days Charming Everyday Things


3.  Beautiful pictures by Mon Zamora. via bumbumbum.

by Mon Zamora

4.  Discovering Friends of Type from popandshorty, a fun blog collating work by four type designers/graphic artists.

"Always Play Amongst Friends" - Friends of Type


Continue reading “Grab bag: Design and architecture”

Clever: Bucket list in graffiti, tongue-in-cheek timekeepers, glow-in-the-dark social commentary and various graphics

After things that just make your eyes glaze over through sheer visual awe, now we have things that are cool because they say something about something.

1.  Before I Die by Candy Chang via studentdesignblog

by Candy Chang

2.  Mr. Jones’s “The Accurate” and “The Average Day” watches

Featured in Selectism.

The Accurate
The Average Day

3.  Jason Dean’s Day and Night poster

from This Is Colossal

Day and Night by Jason Dean

4.  Honest shirt.  That is one of the truer measures of love. I think.

By Paperwhite Studio via This is Colossal

5.  People Make Parks via publicinterestdesign

6.  Sophie Blackall’s Missed Connections illustrations via

7.  Cardon Copy via

8.  Bad at Math via

And a related article!

9.  Word Clocks by Doug Jackson

10.  The Computer Dilemma by John Dvorak

SMART: RKS Design for KOR Water

RKS Design and KOR Water, I love you.

Thank you for fully capitalizing on the beauty of sustainability, design and crowdsourcing/market research.

I can’t wait to see one of these bottles for real.  And, as a water almost-non-drinker, it really makes me stupidly happy that some people acknowledge that you sometimes have shallow, unrelated reasons (aesthetics and image-consciousness) for particular practical behavior (drinking water from a reusable bottle).

Amazing.  Thank you. I hope you sell a lot of these, KOR Water, and make more progress with your mission.  RKS Design, particularly Deepa Prahalad, thank you for speaking so eloquently about consumer insight being fundamental to innovation.

via Fast Company Design

Kor Water Delta via Fast Company

In other news, I came across this beautiful quote blog (via one of the FreshlyPressed features), but, it has the comment function disabled.  It’s actually similar to a tumblr blog in its being quote-heavy.  But, it does have beautiful, timely features, like this particular one I want to remember:

“The wonder of a moment in which there is nothing but an upwelling of simple happiness is utterly awesome. Gratitude is so close to the bone of life, pure and true, that it instantly stops the rational mind, and all its planning and plotting. That kind of let go is fiercely threatening. I mean, where might such gratitude end?”
– Regina Sara Ryan
Praying Dangerously

via whiskeyriver