Sparking a Crush: Attracting and Retaining New Users

Design & User Experience
Location: 2005 Level:
Average rating: ***..
(3.75, 28 ratings)

For “people-powered” services, from Yahoo! Answers to MySpace, attracting and retaining a critical mass of active participants is essential. Unfortunately, the web has become saturated with social sites, and people’s attention is spread thinner than ever. If a service does not create a personal connection during sign-up and ramp-up, it will quickly be forgotten.

To create a new user experience that leaves users itching to go further, you must understand and appeal to people’s motivations. In this session, through examples from the Web 2.0 landscape and Adaptive Path’s work for MySpace, you’ll examine motivational design strategies used by successful sites to:

  • Give people compelling and tailored reasons to join.
  • Nudge new users to get established and stay active.
  • Retain users by accelerating connection-making.

By blending concrete examples with people-centered principles, this session will not only leave you with a toolkit of patterns you can put to use immediately, it will give you the understanding you need to generate your own.

This is a designated Web2Open Hybrid session, with a follow up discussion scheduled in Web2Open at 3:50 pm.

Photo of Alexa Andrzejewski

Alexa Andrzejewski


As an interaction designer for Adaptive Path and formerly for Lextant, Alexa has immersed herself in the worlds of nuclear pharmacists, smartphone users and diabetics. Her curiosity about people different from herself is reflected in work from the MySpace redesign to the Charmr insulin pump concept.

Having received her Bachelor of Science in Visual Communication at Ohio State University, Alexa cares about the craft of design. She strives to advance design tools and methods through blogging, writing and speaking. Recent appearances include Boxes and Arrows, UX Week 2008 in San Francisco and LIFT 2008 in South Korea.

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Picture of Norys Trevino
Norys Trevino
04/23/2009 5:55am PDT

I loved the analogy and overall presentation. It was fun and light and more interesting then majority of the sessions I attended.

Picture of Alexa Andrzejewski
Alexa Andrzejewski
04/06/2009 6:38am PDT

Hi everyone!

I’m having a hard time posting my slides to O’Reilly’s site, but if you send me an email (alexa [at] or twitter (ladylexy) I’d be happy to send them to you!

I’ll also be presenting this talk as a Virtual Seminar on June 10. Details are here:

Thanks everyone who attended and participated! It was great building conversion models and root cause diagrams of Snapfood with you all in the workshop!


Scott M. Neal
04/03/2009 6:38am PDT

This session was amazing—when are the slides going to be available?

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