During GDC I played Peggle, and I picked up the design term juicy from Chaim Gingold: A juicy interface is one that gives excessive amounts of feedback for all of your actions – particle effects (you can’t have too many), halos, sounds, things that glow, bounces, echoes, and so on. Juicy interfaces are usually incredibly satisfying, and it is one of the things that PopCap excel at creating. Juicy interfaces are generally quite addictive, in the positive sense.
So I realized that my email program for years has been set up to make me addicted to the wrong thing: There is a bell when a mail comes in, which gives me your old variable interval reinforcement “ah, yes, that’s the stuff”-feeling. So I get addicted to checking my mail, which is completely unproductive.
I want to be addicted to replying to mail, so I removed the sound for when mail comes in and I’ve set up a sound for when I send an email. Now, sending a mail is much juicier than it used to be, and my email experience is much better.
Technically, I would like the mail program to provide extra feedback for when I reply to a mail vs. sending a mail (can’t see how to do that in Eudora). Why not particle effects, halos, sounds, things that glow, bounces, echoes?
I want a really juicy email experience.
[Update: I now realize that Kyle Gabler, Kyle Gray, Matt Kucic, and Shalin Shodhan discussed juiciness a while ago on Gamasutra.]