What World of Warcraft can teach web developers

Christian Crumlish  

November 01, 2006

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I’ve often said that game interfaces tend to more forward-looking than those of productivity applications and that younger people are having their expectations set by the experiences they have playing games on their computers, on their TVs, on their play stations and mobile devices, and online in general.

Usually I haven’t pushed this idea too much further, though. How can we best capture these innovations coming from the game space and apply them to the non-gaming part of the Web?

This blog post suggests a few ideas about what the online multi-player fantasy game World of Warcraft can teach people developing “Web 2.0″ sites. I’m not sure all of the suggestions are particularly compelling, but I fully agree with the last two:

  • User Feedback: The WoW Community is both strong and vocal and its good to see when a lot of people agree on changes that should be made, many times Blizzard (the creators of the game) implement those changes in one of their weekly patches. Which brings us to…
  • Frequent Updates: Updates don’t necessarily mean features, but even small tweaks allow your users to know that you still care about your site and are working on things. However, don’t tweak just because you want to look fresh, tweak for improvement.