Gamification of software manuals

Source: Internet
Author: User

Original article Jeff Atwood

As early as 2007-at that time, stack overflow was not much noticed-I called software development a collaborative game. Stack Overflow may be the natural product of the original idea-reshaping the online discussion of software development into a collaborative game; in the game, the only way to "win" is to learn from each other.

At that time, there was no "Gamification. But by 2011, gamification was no longer a fashionable concept. Whether you call yourself a "gamer" or believe in "gameplay", you will still be playing the world's largest multiplayer game five years later.

Actually, you are playing now!

The game is equal, and it is easy for anyone to get started-the best aspect of the game for a long time. Whether it's men, women, or children, people like games because they can play together. You don't have to study a course, go to college, or get a certificate-you just need to play. Many programmers I know become programmers like this-it's not so accidental!

Someone bought the halo or mysterious island video games and read the manuals in the box before starting the game? Hi, bro, we can't play games yet. Let's read those instructions first! Well, they stopped creating manuals a long time ago, unless you think that it's okay to teach you how to download the game and install it on the tab of the device. Because they found that no one would read the manual:

The project I am working on is critical, but it only serves 3 ~ Four users, and most of them are familiar with this application. One user even promoted the design. The manual I am writing has nearly 200 pages. It is mainly a security measure of the business continuity plan. I don't expect everyone to read it.

I have been dragging on this project for several months. I am working on other projects at the same time, or even something beyond my scope of work. I understand that the main obstacle to this is: I don't think anyone needs this manual. Without this manual, the user seems to be fine.

At the end of the year, I had been spending time updating the 200-page manual, And I thought no one would read it; I should have spent more time learning mediawiki, video lectures, and special video effects. The manual will be printed, bound, and put into a binder. The final result will be thrown to the shelf and accumulated ......

I guess that is not surprising for games. The game should be interesting, but reading the manual is not interesting-it's actually quite boring! However, in general, this is also applicable to the software. Reading a manual doesn't work. At the very least, when you start the software on a mobile phone, tablet, or notebook, reading the manual is not your top priority.

However, the game has another clever little trick. Have you noticed that in most games today, the first level is easy? It's like ...... You can't help wondering, why is it so easy?

That's because the first level (Introduction) is not really part of the game. It is essentially a user manual.

Watch this video:

As megaman X shows, manuals are meaningless when we can learn about games in the most natural (and best) way. This method is to start playing that game. At the beginning, assuming that the game provides a good environment for you to experiment securely, you can play and learn.

This method also applies to today's software and websites. Why do we need manuals, video introductions, tutorials, or pop-up help? No one cares about those things. At the very least, those who need help will not read those things.

We should learn from the experience of Rockman: If you want to teach everyone how to use your software, consider introducing a superb introductory step so that users can enjoy it as soon as they start the software.

Gamification of software manuals

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