7 Rules for Widget Success

    July 11, 2007

Live from WidgetCon

Speaker: Shervin Pishevar, President, Freewebs

The age of engagement has begun. Umm, hasn’t it begun a few years ago?

7 Rules for Widget Success (we must take notes – he has a number in it – you MUST write down every point with a number, which is why I always structure my presentations that way)

1. KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid (Da Vinci – “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”)

He mentions the simplicity of top widgets and not overcomplicating it, though that’s not always the case.

2. Bring the Bling.

People want to personalize and own the content.

3. Speak Dog

Speak to people on their level. He used the same Far Side cartoon I use of what we say to dogs and what they hear.

4. Eat Your Own Dog Food.

Be authentic, be real (while he notes LonelyGirl’s viewers knew it was fake in advance, they still watched the show en masse, so it doesn’t help his point).

5. Color Outside the Lines

Change the form, what you do with the space.

6. Be Contagious.

Uhh, yeah, easier said than done. Make sure there’s a call to action to make someone else to have to do something. Make users become nodes for you.

7. Be Useful

Do something with some utility.

My take: All in all, it’s a good, useful checklist for when you’re designing a widget. Getting at least 5 of these right should ensure some degree of success.