SXSW Interactive

Panel: Learning Interaction Design From Las Vegas

Dan Saffer   Interaction Designer,   Adaptive Path 

A quick and slick correlation between the design of Las Vegas, the city, and MySpace, the Web site.  Break it down further to playing the slot machines vs. building a MySpace page, because in each you can play with (LV vs. MS):

  • levels of craft: LV — get in low (slots) or high (craps or high stakes bets etc.); MS — basic templates for pages or custom designes with much multimedia.
  • number of interactions: LV — slots get 10 plays a minute, eg a lot of interaction; MS — make comments, post news, lots of quick little communications.
  • ridiculous attention to detail: LV — the special metallic pan amplifies the sound of coins dropping, and you get small pays to keep you going, medium pays less frequently, plus the temptation of large pays (they’ve calculated the percentage to keep people going); MS — all the unique ways you add content to the system in a way that doesn’t seem like adding content (human interaction).

Finally Dan asks: thinking of both Vegas and MySpace, how can we take what we think of as good design and translate?  Dan says play up the irony — design can be fun, bold-faced, and not have to look perfect, and people are drawn to that because it isn’t intimidating.

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