We are building a concept , where we want to encourage users- to write their learning experiences. Learning experience could be

  • personal informal learning, for example- how I cooked curry, how my friend installed software on my Tablet ..

  • Job related learning, for example - how I learned to declare an Array, How I learned to iterate through for loop, How I googled and came to know that, Google is launching nexus.

  • Academic learning, for example - how my teacher taught me to calculate financial sheets, how my teacher taught me maths ..

  • Future Learning, for example - What I am willing to learn in future, I want to learn how I can design APPS for android, I want to learn user experience techniques in Android ..

I am right now creating a wire frame to show these different learnings as a user's learn profile.

But I am not really sure, how I can encourage my user to write different learns he/she experienced/experiencing.

EACH USER WILL BE ASKED - WHAT I Learned ? HOW I Learned ? WHERE I Learned ? WHY I Learned ?

A worst thing I know is, no user will ever get encourage to write in few paragraphs about their learnings.

Can you help me here.

  • so, this information will be displayed on their profile?
    – Chris
    Jul 27, 2012 at 12:12
  • right, but the profile will be known as Learning profile. It will not be called as User Profile. Linked-in profile is Professional profile, facebook profile is Personal profile, But this profile will be learning profile Jul 27, 2012 at 12:15
  • 3
    The first thing I did on seeing this question title was to check if the asker has filled in his UX.SE profile. :-) Jul 27, 2012 at 19:32

3 Answers 3


well, I do not know about your strategy, but it is very easy to award them if they fill out all their profile information. Stackoverflow does it simply with the concept of badges, like you get the badge Autobiographer if you filled out all the fields on your profile.

If you reward people for doing it and other people can see that they have been rewarded, many users would do things very happily! :)

  • I can think of giving rewards Jul 27, 2012 at 12:16
  • 1
    @SachinGawas: just had a quick look at your site. What you also could do is giving those users a special status, meaning they can do things others can't. If you have enough users and getting new users is not a problem, you can even think of makiing it obligatory for users to fill out certain (or even all) fields
    – Chris
    Jul 27, 2012 at 12:19
  • 2
    My absolutely personal opinion is that in gamification, this "if a task is stupid, gamify it" kind of notion will collapse very soon. I hate gamified workplaces (gamified retrospective meetings are my "favourite"). Either something is worth to do it (fulfills a USER goal) or it isn't. Pretty soon users will realize that badges are just icons, and there's no real social reputation behind them, not even inside that specific online community. Does anyone care about my "editor" badge on stackoverflow you think? (it means I edited my own answer)
    – Aadaam
    Jul 27, 2012 at 12:33
  • @Aadaam: you are exactly right! this is why I wrote that you might want to consider giving the user more authority, e.g. they can only take courses in this field, if they first fill out the description of that or sth. or features that they could not use otherwise. Very similar to the reputation system here. However, I am not with you concerning that people do not care. Right, probably not about the badges (on this site), but certainly about the reputation, or why do you think all the people contribute this to the community? Only to help (without reputution) - how many would?
    – Chris
    Jul 27, 2012 at 14:41
  • They'd rather start bragging how great they are and how much they know to gain attention like in other forums. That's why SO is such a great place, because it stays professional.
    – Chris
    Jul 27, 2012 at 14:41

Before I ever do any UX, UI or visual design I apply behavior modeling to every project where there is an action we want people to perform. Your concept is a compelling case for behavior design because you are asking someone to articulate a lot of information.

I supplied links to materials at the end of this post. In nutshell start with the ideal behavior you would like to see happen. "Contribute a meaningful learning experience to my site" for example. Now that's vague. Break it down into smaller behaviors that you can design for... "Enter a paragraph about a learning experience.", "Tell where it occoured", etc. Once you have a set of behaviors you want apply Fogg's behavior model to brainstorm on how to elicit the response.

Essentially, a behavior occurs when a trigger, motivation and ability happen at the same time. Put a trigger in front of a motivated, capable person and the behavior you want is more likely to occur. Obviously this post is not a lesson. Study the materials online. It takes some practice before you get the concept but it will inform every other design decision.

The key concept to understand is that motivation is difficult to change. Don't focus on it. Rewards are great but not effective unless they perform the behavior first. So focus on making the behavior EASY AS POSSIBLE TO DO.

Some ideas that come to mind:

  • Don't make a user sign in first. Let them submit an experience with out signing up. Once they do you can say "register or sign in so that we can share it with others"
  • Show them examples of other experiences so they have a model to go by.

  • Make the UI as flexible as possible. Perhaps they can fill in partially. Perhaps why they did it is personal and they don't want to share that aspect.

The bottom line. Understand and apply behavior modeling before you create the UI and you will be more successful in persuading people to perform and action.

I hope this helps.

Read the research and techniques of Professor BJ Fogg at Stanford for details on behavior design:



  • Very kind, thank you. Behavior design has helped me come up with more successful results, not just better designs. I hope it helps you.
    – Itumac
    Jul 27, 2012 at 15:20

I agree with the rewards idea - look at Microsoft's Bing, or Xbox achievements, or the myriad of sites that give "cookies"(yes, pun) for logging in with Facebook, Twitter, etc etc. The only problem is, you don't want to drive away users who feel like they are being pressured or bullied into sharing their information. Sometimes, a blank profile is hiding a very socially shy person, not one who simply does not take the time.

What about allowing or requiring users to use handles or, since it's writing based, a pen name? This would likely loosen up a lot of users and if they're comfortable, they will write more. (For example, the sites of anon. love letters or support groups always have content that feels more genuine, at least to me.)

Oh, and make sure to have the basic writing tools built in, similar to this very comment box. People are funny sometimes about being able to storytell how they want to, and those who are learning/writing/etc inclined more so.

  • Nice idea. I like the idea of allowing users to set their own pseudonym as part of filling in the profile, that could probably work quite well. I would assume that users without having set up such a name would be given the tag of 'Anonymous' or even just their email address instead, which is not so personal.
    – JonW
    Jul 27, 2012 at 12:46

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