Badass: Making Users Awesome
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: January 2015
Pages: 294

Note for ebook customers: The design and layout of this book play a key role in conveying the author's message. When creating the ebooks, we've tried to keep the look and feel of the print edition, but this means that not all e-reading devices will support the files. The EPUB format is optimized for iPad. The Mobi files are optimized for Kindle Fire tablets and phones and for Kindle reading apps.

Imagine you’re in a game with one objective: a bestselling product or service. The rules? No marketing budget, no PR stunts, and it must be sustainably successful. No short-term fads.

This is not a game of chance. It is a game of skill and strategy.

And it begins with a single question: given competing products of equal pricing, promotion, and perceived quality, why does one outsell the others?

The answer doesn’t live in the sustainably successful products or services. The answer lives in those who use them.

Our goal is to craft a strategy for creating successful users. And that strategy is full of surprising, counter-intuitive, and astonishingly simple techniques that don’t depend on a massive marketing or development budget. Techniques typically overlooked by even the most well-funded, well-staffed product teams.

Every role is a key player in this game. Product development, engineering, marketing, user experience, support—everyone on the team. Even if that team is a start-up of one. Armed with a surprisingly overlooked science and a unique POV, we can can reduce the role of luck. We can build sustainably successful products and services that rely not on unethical persuasive marketing tricks but on helping our users have deeper, richer experiences. Not just in the moments while they’re using our product but, more importantly, in the moments when they aren’t.

Table of Contents
Product Details
About the Author
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
oreillyBadass: Making Users Awesome
 
4.2

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

89%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (8)
  • Well-written (8)
  • Helpful examples (7)
  • Concise (4)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Intermediate (5)
  • Novice (4)
  • Expert (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (5), Designer (3)

Reviewed by 9 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Love it

By Pongneng

from Chiang Mai, Thailand

About Me Developer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice

    Comments about oreilly Badass: Making Users Awesome:

    Useful, Practical, Fun to read, I feel like I'm a genius right now.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    So good I bought copies for 6 of my friends

    By Josh

    from Indianapolis, IN

    About Me Developer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about oreilly Badass: Making Users Awesome:

        This book taught me to focus more on making users awesome, and less on making my products awesome. I recently gave some training to a team of developers, incorporating the principles from this book. They loved it - especially the "path to mastery" I created to help them visualize their progress along the way.

        The book is extremely well written, and the visuals make it even better. It's easy to follow and kept my attention all the way through.

        Highly recommended. Everyone should read this book.

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Recommend Print Version

        By ajca

        from Seattle

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Concise
        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Pithy
        • Well-written

        Cons

        • Epub Difficult To Read

        Best Uses

          Comments about oreilly Badass: Making Users Awesome:

          I purchased the ebook version, and found the book very difficult to read.

          The ePub version functions like a PDF (iBooks app on iPad). And while you can bookmark a page, you cannot highlight text, or add notes. Didn't bother trying the ePub version on my mobile phone—likely even more frustrating to read--if you touch a page just slightly in the wrong place, the page jumps to the next page.

          However: the content of this book is excellent, and I'd rate that five stars (giving it four stars here, only because of the ePub issues).

          I've purchased the print version, where the particular format/layout style is more appropriate.

          (4 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Not formatted for ibooks

          By Matth

          from West lake village, ca

          Verified Reviewer

          Comments about oreilly Badass: Making Users Awesome:

          I bought this here because they had the ePub format. It is not. His is no different than trying to read a PDF where they generated the PDF with two pages per screen. This means one has to scale it up to read, move it around and then scal it back down to read. Definitely not badassed not making oreily's users awesome.

          I would pass if you want the electronic version.

          (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          Not for Kindle

          By Alvaro

          from Lisbon, Portugal

          About Me Designer, Developer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy to understand
          • Good Tips
          • Well-written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Intermediate
            • Novice

            Comments about oreilly Badass: Making Users Awesome:

            Good content, but not properly formatted for kindle. Since i use a kindle, it's kind of a downer for me.

             
            5.0

            Whack on the head!

            By Paul H

            from Sweden

            About Me Designer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Accurate
            • Concise
            • Easy to understand
            • Helpful examples
            • Well-written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Expert
              • Intermediate
              • Novice
              • Student

              Comments about oreilly Badass: Making Users Awesome:

              Kathy Sierra is as usual straightforward and to the point. No wasted words and uses images so that you get the message.

              This book has really made me think about "customer needs", which is an expression that I never really have liked. The book gave me a real whack on the head and got me thinking about how my organisation make our clients badass.

              I have recommended the book to numerous people.

              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              I feel smarter after reading this book

              By Rob

              from Westford, MA

              About Me Developer

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Easy to understand
              • Helpful examples
              • Well-written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Expert
                • Intermediate

                Comments about oreilly Badass: Making Users Awesome:

                I really enjoyed "Baddass: Making Users Awesome." Kathy Sierra here has brought together best practices from a range of disciplines, design, expertise development, word of mouth marketing, human motivation, pedagogy, etc., and created a grand synthesis that shows how to create the kind of "badass" users that make your product shine. Instead of gimmicky approaches based on extrinsic motivations like gamification and viral social media content, Kathy focuses on making the user successful at the larger context, what the user really wants to achieve with your product. I've seen bits and pieces of this before, but never before brought together, along with original ideas, in one place in such a framework. The book is visually attractive and a compelling, engaging read. I feel smarter after reading this and am eager to apply these techniques in my next project.

                (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Powerful framework in a concise read

                By Paul the designer

                from Mountain View, CA

                About Me Designer, Developer, Educator, Maker

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Accurate
                • Concise
                • Easy to understand
                • Helpful examples
                • Well-written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Expert
                  • Intermediate
                  • Novice

                  Comments about oreilly Badass: Making Users Awesome:

                  This book was unexpected... in the best way possible. If you're looking for a practical book to help you build successful products, look no further.

                  A little context: I'm a digital product designer, with a background in HCI + behavioral psychology. I've immersed myself in behavior studies (and applications) from BJ Fogg, Dan Kahneman, Dan Ariely, and Nir Eyal to name a few. I'm a fan of 37Signals, Gary V, Kevin Dewalt, and the rest of the "Helpful Marketing" crew. Expertise and guided mastery are familiar, where I've designed courses ranging from gymnastics to nutrition.

                  But wow, I certainly wasn't expecting anyone to tie all those things together into such a deceptively simple concept: stop trying to make your *product* kickass... instead turn your attention to helping your *users* become badass!

                  Kathy's book is well-written and well-structured. She guides you visually, reminding you where you're at, constantly helping you connect the dots. She embeds mini-exercises inline that help you work through concepts. And it's all tied together with a good tasting humor, simple language, and relatable examples.

                  I'll be referencing this often, and I've already recommended this book personally to most of my professional friends who are trying to build successful companies.

                  Rock on, Kathy.

                  (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Totally badass!

                  By adrianh

                  from Dorset, UK

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Applicable
                  • Direct
                  • Easy to understand
                  • Helpful examples
                  • Practical
                  • Well-written

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about oreilly Badass: Making Users Awesome:

                      Lovely book that synthesises a bunch of stuff on motivation, skills acquisition, flow, etc. into a nice product development framework (and unlike a certain popular science writer I could name references the original sources for those who want to dig further ;-)

                      As an additional bonus Kathy uses the techniques she describes in the book in a delightfully meta way to structure the book itself.

                      Totally badass!

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