162
The Challenge What Experts Do Help Them Move Forward
Remove Blocks
The Gap of Suck
If we make/sell snowboards, we don’t want to sell just this
one snowboard, we want to create a snowboarder.
The Suck Zone is guaranteed pain for everyone learning to
snowboard. But those who drop out early didn’t suddenly
lose their motivation to be a good snowboarder. They don’t
need more convincing about the features and benets of
snowboarding. They don’t need a bigger, sexier forward-
pulling magnet.
We must help our users through the large, painful gap
between the motivating goal and their early experiences in
the Suck Zone.
What they wanted
What actually happened
Gap of Suck
163
The Challenge What Experts Do Help Them Move Forward
Remove Blocks
The Gap of Disconnect
Compelling Context
tool
Before they buy/join we’re all about the Context.
This is where motivation lives.
After they buy/join we’re all about the Tool.
This is where motivation dies.
They didn’t lose motivation for the context. They lost
the connection between the compelling context and the
tool. And they no longer trust that we’ll help them with
anything but the tool.
“You’ll take amazing photos”
“Read the FAQ.”
Gap of Disconnect
164
The Challenge What Experts Do Help Them Move Forward
Remove Blocks
Death by a thousand derailers
I REALLY want to be
good at this, but...
I suck at this!
I’m confused...
Why am I even doing this?
How is this better
than the old way?
Worst. FAQ. Ever.
Is it supposed to
be THIS hard?
I can’t even do the
most basic things.
Wait... this can’t be right...
Either I’m stupid
or this tool is.
Nobody answers my questions.
This is tedious.
165
The Challenge What Experts Do Help Them Move Forward
Remove Blocks
Snowboarding IS hard the rst day. What
do we do when we can’t change that?
You’re right.
But even if we can’t close the gap,
it doesn’t mean we can’t help our
users while they’re in it.
The answer is not to eliminate the
gap, but to make the gap no big deal.
The answer is to help users move
forward despite the gap.
The rst step is understanding what
the derailers have in common...
OK, ne. We get it. Mind the gaps, etcetera.
But what happens if we can’t x the gap?
What happens when you can’t shrink the gap?
166
The Challenge What Experts Do Help Them Move Forward
Remove Blocks
What do these derailers have in common?
Assume our user wants to get better at the bigger context,
and it’s possible for them, but they’re being pulled off the path
by one or more of these:
What’s the common attribute across all the different thoughts,
feelings, and experiences that could derail our users? If we can
nd a common attribute, maybe we can nd a common solution.
I suck at this!
I’m confused...
Why am I even doing this?
How is this better
than the old way?
Worst. FAQ. Ever.
Is it supposed to
be THIS hard?
I can’t even do the
most basic things.
Wait... this can’t be right...
Either I’m stupid or
this tool is.
Nobody answers my questions.
This is tedious.

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