There's nothing more depressing than spending countless hours and dollars on a brand new web venture, only to watch it fall flat on its face because nobody cares. This is the unfortunate destiny of many new ventures that don’t carefully consider how to keep their customer base coming back.
Whatever your website’s goals may be, the ability to capture the attention of your target audience is an absolute must.
In this article, I decided not to use websites as examples of making an addictive website. The blood-thirsty rampages of iOS videogame star Barry Steakfries just seem to say it better. The beauty of his latest rampage, titled Jetpack Joyride, is in its ability to get gamers really, really addicted. Halfbrick studios, the evil geniuses behind Barry and the games he inhabits, use a plethora of tricks to make sure gamers simply can’t put the him down. Here’s 6 of those tricks.
Don't waste time
From the moment you launch the app, you are ‘in’ the game. The game practically begins without you, and your rolling start begins as soon as you touch the screen. This causes immediate action from the gamer. No learning is required up front; the game instead throws you into things with an easy start to learn the controls.
Lesson: Make taking action effortless and painless.
Make Experiences Worth Repeating
When the action is over, the gameplay isn’t: you’re launched straight into another game that reaps instant rewards. Halfbrick uses a slot machine mechanic to let the user power-up his next game. In hoping for and winning great power-up (which is typically the case) the gamer can’t wait to play “just one more time”.
Lesson: Never leave people unattended: give them clear direction and don’t let their interest run dry.
Make People Feel Special
Those power-ups serve a second purpose. Since gamers earn their power-ups, it’s of more value to them. The feelings that come with that increase the chance of more conversions.
Lesson: Give people progress, and give them a sense of achievement. Winners play again.
When the main game ends, the music keeps on going – you never feel as though you’ve been released from the gameplay. It’s not over yet. You’re subsequently more likely to carry on playing.
Lesson: Don’t leave any post-conversion design decisions to chance – keep people interested and engaged even when they think they’re through.
The main character, Barry Steakfries, can be customized as you progress in the game. He becomes an expression of yourself; something you’ve invested in. He becomes just one more reason to come back and play again.
Lesson: Let people make it their own, whatever ‘it’ may be. They may come back simply because it’s ‘theirs’.
Low Barrier of Entry
The app is sold for free. Halfbrick will want some money for their time, though! Their return on investment comes from letting people experience the great product, and pay for more of that experience. Items, jetpacks, outfits and more are all available for small fees. They get purchased because they enhance an experience people want.
Lesson: Let people come to want what you’re offering. Do it right and they’ll invest in you all by themselves.
That’s a Wrap
So that’s it – 6 tricks to make your site more addictive, as taught by cartoon violence. There’s lots of ways to make you’re website addictive, and when the right tricks are used effectively, the results speak volumes.