Key Points

Bigger Context

  • most tools are used to serve a bigger context

    • Eg. Cool camera vs cool photographer
  • Badass means developing expertise

  • Badass users talk about what they do to users

  • Don’t do faux badass with badges, need real skills

  • Don’t make a better x but better user of x

  • design for post ux ux

    • Eg. User shares picture, gets good comments that makes them want to do more
  • how would your user compete against other users


The User Curve.png

  • user ability with tool should also translate to ability in context

Draw your current user curves.png

  • avoid the suck zone
    • User spend more time but not get more ability
    • Watch out for upgrades that bring users back into suck zone
  • watch out for levelling off after suck zone
  • Watch out for stuck zone

The Stuck Zone looks good, but isn't.png

  • exercise: how does your user get stuck
    • Never publish a note
    • Never use links
    • Never use schemas
  • Need to get past stuck zone


  • definition of badass in your context
    • Given a sprint task involving new technologies an expert can deliver results and build expertise for the future
  • for tool
    • Given a a sprint task with new tech, a user of Dendron can easily plan out their steps and make references for future use


  • if you can’t get to 95% proficiency in 3 practice sessions, its too much

  • perceptual knowledge: what experts do but aren’t aware of doing (aka intuition)

  • Help users gain this through surfacing patterns and cues

  • Summary

    • Experts practice better
    • Experts develop perceuptual knowldege through high quality high quantity exposure with feedback
  • make users want to get better

  • Users don’t move ahead of “stuck zone”

  • Gap of disconnect: achieving compelling context but being prevented by the tool

  • Derailers: things that cause the gap of disconnect

    • Anticpiate
      • Snowboarding (things do suck the first day)
    • Compensate
  • achieving mastery

  • Create a performance path

    • What is needed for mastery
  • exercxise: belt path

    • Install dendron
    • Open preview
    • Type
    • Lookup to create a new note
    • Create a wiki link
    • ....
    • Create a schema
    • Publish a site
  • Show progress (what can you do in first 30min)

  • Exercise: first superpower for your context

    • Lookup to find a note
    • Daily journals
    • Share a link
    • Share a note
  • after 1st superpower, figure out how to lead user to next super power

  • Create experiences that are intrisnsically rewarding (not badge but better result)

  • Give users high payoff tips Make our users.png


  • when adding new feature, make sure it doesn’t add additional cognitive cost
    • Cake or fruit feature
  • reduce cognitive leaks
    • Help users track behavior, making things automatic
    • Focus on top of mind problem
    • Motive-aider, help with posture, every two minutes get a pleasing vibration sensation
  • assume no willpower
    • Build automatic habits
    • Intrinsically rewarding exercises (eg. Daily journals)
  • Get past brain spam filter
    • Make it visceral
      • Use obj oriented code vs show a terrible code base
    • convince with context
      • Don’t want emotional flatline
      • Have a nike moment
    • cut down on just in case knowledge
      • Question anything that is just in case
      • Map knowledge to specific skills

Improving our chances of making a sustainable.png