Why Angry Birds is so addictive.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Influence!
I'm always curious why some apps are addictive.
If you want to read a loooong article about why Angry Birds is, see: http://www.mauronewmedia.com/blog/2011/02/why-angry-birds-is-so-successful-a-cognitive-teardown-of-the-user-experience/
Here's my summary:
Simple but engaging basic interaction.
Response time is cleverly managed. Performance matters.
An element of mystery.
Short term memory management.
A distinctive visual appeal.
If these were easy to put into a single application, there would be more addictive applications.
Unfortunately, it's not easy, so don't regret trying. Aiming for those characteristics is a privilege.
One of the best analysis on how Angry Birds (of any other piece of software ever written and analyzed in details) does short term memory management. I learnt so much.
That's about as simple as you can make it. It's the basic formula for habits (good and bad.)
Trigger: what makes me want to initiate?
Action: what is the thing that needs to be done?
Reward: what makes the person feel good after they do the action?
Throw in a leveling up system and you have yourself a sticky game.
Add a level of randomness and you have a billion dollar casino empire.
Can you imagine how addictive Angry Birds would be if they added a gambling element to it?