I think that these 20 lessons are quite relevant to Discourse’s design and development.
- Fighting against human nature is a losing battle
- Aesthetics matter
- Resonance is important
- Make use of piggybacking
- Don’t confuse ‘interesting’ with ‘fun’
- Understand what emotion your game is trying to invoke
- Allow the player the ability to make the game personal
- The details are where the players fall in love with the game
- Allow your players to have a sense of ownership
- Leave room for the player to explore
- If everyone likes your game, but no one loves it, it will fail
- Don’t design to prove you can do something
- Make the fun part also the correct strategy to win
- Don’t be afraid to be blunt
- Design the component for the audience it’s intended for
- Be afraid of boring your players more than challenging them
- You don’t have to change much to change everything
- Restrictions breed creativity
- Your audience is good at recognizing problems and bad at solving them
- All the lessons connect
There were several times when transcribing that list that I wanted to bold an item, but I restrained myself. #20 really says all that’s needed in that respect.
In the realm of Discourse-specific, many of these just straight-out work if you replace “game” with “product” and “player” with “user”.
Number 7 - with trust levels, the forum participants are allowed to take a moderate role in the moderation of the forum, which helps instill a sense of ownership, of “our” community.
Number 19 - the first post’s recommended solution on Meta is pretty much always not the correct route, but there is a real problem there
Number 5, Number 18 - freeform tagging.
There are more parallels, but I’ll let you think about them on your own