Christina Wodtke

Christina Wodtke

Christina Wodtke is an itinerant instigator and maker of things to happen. She is currently teaching user experience design, advising start-ups on social strategy and gamification, and doing a little light consulting and angel investing.

Most recently she led new product development as a general manager of at Zynga, and was general manager of Social at Myspace, principal product manager at Linkedin, and senior director of design at Yahoo! back when Yahoo! was pretty neat.

As well, she likes founding things: She founded a startup where she developed the collaborative blogging tool PublicSquare; founded Boxes and Arrows, an on-line magazine of design; co-founded the Management Innovation Group (recently acquired by Bain) and co-founded the Information Architecture Institute. She may found again.

Along the way she wrote the bestselling Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web, and has spoken on the topic of the human experience in information spaces at conferences worldwide. She writes still at

Christina has helped these organizations: CloudOn, The Hunt, New York Times, LinkedIn, Yahoo, and MySpace.

Christina can help you with

Game Design in the real world
The web world is agog over game design as the next silver bullet, slapping badges and progress bars over every annoying thing they wish users to do. As users tire of everything looking like a game, "gamification" has come under fire. But why throw the baby out with the bathwater? Game design is to web design what rocket science is to car mechanics, and just like Tang and Velcro, there is plenty in game design we can use in our every day work. I teach how designing for emotion, mastery and meaningful choices can make your site a pleasure for your users. As well as workshops, I have led product strategy around this topic, and done expert evaluations on the effectiveness of game design approaches.
Designing Social Websites
Humans are funny animals, and behave in surprising ways. In an information space, a human’s needs are simple and his behavior straightforward. Find. Read. Save. But once you get a bunch of humans together, communicating and collaborating, sometimes you see the madness of crowds and sometimes the wisdom of crowds. For example, an online news service is as likely to select an insightful political commentary or an illegal crack for a piece of software as their top story. This makes the architecture in social spaces the most challenging work you can take on. While your site can never control people, but it certainly can encourage good behavior and discourage bad. I have done workshops both internally and at conferences such as Web 2.0 on this topic, I lead social product strategy workshops and can do expert review on you current site.
Fundamentals of User Experience Design
User Experience Design is the art and science of creating products that meet your customers deepest needs and fondest wishes. It is touted from the D-School to 500 Startups and the secret sauce that will make a company succeed when others have failed. But designers hard (and expensive!) to hire. I have helped my clients in a variety of ways, from holding training in UX design to helping create desirable job descriptions and taught stakeholders how to interview and evaluate designers, and have done extensive work in integrating design teams into healthy multidisciplinary work groups.
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