Week 4

Abstract Our learning objectives for the week are:

  • Describe some of the psychology behind gamification and what makes it successful.

  • Brainstorm ways to leverage gamification in your current project.

  • Explain the purpose of sketching in the UX process.

  • Apply sketching conventions to effectively communicate a user interface.

  • Describe the process of a design studio and its benefits to the UX process.

  • Explain what wireframes are and why they are useful.

Post 3: 'Design studio'

'Design studio', most commonly know as 'Design Sprints', is a process for rapidly solving big challenges, creating new products, or improving existing ones.

Pioneered by Google Ventures, the team created the process in 2010 as a way to innovate faster and collaborate better with cross-functional teams (Scholes, 2020).

Ten years on, and the 'Design Sprint' process has become the most efficient way for companies to make meaningful progress on critical business problems and a technique I use compresses months of work into just four days.

  • Day 1, I work in person with the client to define the week's challenge and scope.

  • Day 2, we decide which challenges to prototype.

  • Day 3, we rapidly build the high-fidelity prototype that is then tested with real users on

  • Day 4. Developer ready working Files

For example on Day 1 we conduct Expert interviews, How Might We's, Sprint Goal questions, Map and target problems and the production of solutions with various techniques such as Lighting demos where each person brings inspirational solutions to our problem and shares them with the rest of the team. Each person then goes away and sketches their ideas, for which the next day we vote and merge the best ideas into our final product.

Features and benefits of Design Sprints:

  • A quick way to gather User feedback

  • Quick yes or no answers on several assumptions

  • Co-creation concept

  • Alignment across cross-disciplinary teams

  • Many solutions in a super short amount of time

I've been selling design sprints for several years, helping Fortune 500 companies, governments and startups to build relevant digital products, train their teams and solve business problems. Doing this faster and more effectively than anyone else by using the Design Sprint model.

Design can seem like a 'Dark-art' to non-designers, and using this technique has demystified my approach. Providing transparency across the whole process and what they get after the engagement.

All in all, this is one of my go-to offerings and aligns perfectly with my Sprint Goal of " Being more efficient in my business operations' by formulating my offer into concise packages that customers can understand and self-select without any ambiguity."

References

  1. Scholes, L. (2020). How Design Sprints became the way Google—and the world—creates. [online] Google Design. Available at: https://design.google/library/design-sprints/ [Accessed 9 Mar. 2021]. ‌

Post 2: UX Prototype - Sketching and wireframes

Wireframes are the primary way we communicate design solutions to engineers and stakeholders. Wireframes help us to think through the design system and visualise the screens for our final design.

In my post last week, I decided to brainstorm the key routes a user could take, both as a new user and an existing user. The benefits of doing it this way can save us from going too far into the design before we can adjust, and I sort of know what content needs to be on each page.

Example of my initial wireframes

I began sketching each screen to illustrate functionality, define the relative proportion of elements, and note some interaction options.

Logic flow diagrams I also like to create logic-flow diagrams alongside wireframes to ensure interaction points are not missed when putting together prototypes. It's also a diagram that development teams build upon to connect information. The completed file can be found here. http://bit.ly/findAside

A logic flow diagram maps out the flow of information for a process or system. The first logical diagram created by the UX team provides the 'what', what happens, and what it means to do.

Post 1: Gamification

Gamification is where 'play' is used in non-game activities to influence behaviour. Gamification hasn't been around that long and it hasn't been easy to work out who proposed the term first. What we do know is the word 'Gamification' started to gain traction around 2011. Deterding et al. (2011) state that "Vendors and consultants have tended to describe 'gamification' practically and in terms of client benefits, for example as 'the adoption of game technology and game design methods outside of the games industry' (Helgason, 2010).

Foursquare, is an example of merged 'play' into physical environments. The Foursquare app allowed you to check in to various public places and businesses, like coffee shops, airports or public parks. You could then share this check-in with your friends so they can easily find you.

But what Foursquare became well known for was the game elements they added to increase usage. If you checked into a location, you would receive points. Check-in to a new place you hadn't visited before, and you would receive even more points. You could then compare your rank with friends on the leaderboard and receive badges for doing things like checking in on a boat or checking in with more than 50 people in one place.

Interestingly, Gamification is not a new concept; this is why it has been hard to pin down who coined the term. For instance, since 1910, The Scout Association has offered merit badges as awards for participation. The earliest example of the digital adoption of achievement badges was in the 1990 Nintendo video game Super Mario World, where a 100% completion would gain you the *96.

Many other businesses such as Stackoverflow and Livemocha have used gamification techniques to keep users motivated and perform tasks to increase data collection. A study conducted in 2013 (Ziesemer, Müller and Silveira) found that some users were not even aware of the game elements embedded in the systems, but we're still happy to 'play' along, while others became confused by the elements and rejected them altogether. While this study and other studies on gamification have mainly taken a positive approach towards the phenomenon and its implications. Cheng et al.(2019), suggest that the current application of gamification to apps and technologies for improving mental health and well-being do not align with the trend of positive reinforcement. Also suggesting the application of gamification (for mental health) without consideration for its underlying mechanisms may be harmful. This is something I will have to be cautious about when implementing these techniques in my fitness and mental health product. In 2020, Nike re-launched Nike+Run as a gamification platform to track and 'gamify' your run time, distance covered and health levels. Comparing recordings with others in your social circle. A classic example of live feedback and micro-measuring progress is helping runners achieve and improve their personal goals. Headspace uses Gamification to increase user completion of meditation techniques. Each session lasting around ten minutes long helps users track their progress in bettering their mental state and genuinely seeing the strides they've taken towards being better balanced. Both products have created paths of least resistance and used Gamification to encourage positive actions, sometimes punishing negative and systemic behaviour. A method I hope to use to strengthen relationships and meet business KPIs such as:

  • Hours of interaction with a user

  • Points for completion of conversation starters

  • Articles read

  • Pre-event task completion (warm-up, jog, payment)

  • Events created

  • Events attended

  • Reliability

Making Money Find a player's revenue is generated through the charging of transaction fees. This monetisation strategy requires simply connecting a resource to demand, handling the transaction, and taking a percentage of the transaction for profit. Many startups have successfully taken advantage of transaction fees to generate app revenue. Uber, Deliveroo and Stripe follow similar business models and charge users small fees for every completed transaction. The charging of transaction fees is a simple revenue model and avoids charging users fees upfront and provides incremental revenue.

Our app will take a fee from each player attending a game/event. For example, a football pitch could cost £80. In a team of 10, each player will have to contribute £4 for the pitch plus our 50p transaction fee.

However, there is a considerable risk in this model as it can be sometime before you can see a return on your investment—profit directly links to the volume of transaction fees and long-term service use. So we must make our app is sticky and desirable.

References

  1. Cheng, V.W.S., Davenport, T., Johnson, D., Vella, K. and Hickie, I.B. (2019). Gamification in Apps and Technologies for Improving Mental Health and Well-Being: Systematic Review. JMIR Mental Health, 6(6), p.e13717. ‌

  2. Clark C (1970). Abt, Clark C. Serious Games. New York: Viking, 1970, 176 pp., $5.95, L.C. 79-83234. American Behavioral Scientist, 14(1), pp.129–129.

  3. Deterding, S., Sicart, M., Nacke, L., O’Hara, K. and Dixon, D. (2011). Gamification. using game-design elements in non-gaming contexts. Proceedings of the 2011 annual conference extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems - CHI EA ’11, [online] pp.2425–2428. Available at: https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/1979742.1979575 [Accessed 21 Feb. 2021].

  4. Gabe Zichermann (2011). A Long Engagement and a Shotgun Wedding: Why Engagement is the Power …. [online] Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/gzicherm/g-summit-opener.

  5. Helgason, D. (2010). 2010 Trends - Unity Technologies Blog. [online] blogs.unity3d.com. Available at: https://blogs.unity3d.com/2010/01/14/2010-trends [Accessed 24 Feb. 2021].

  6. Ziesemer, A., Müller, L. and Silveira, M. (2013). Gamification aware: Users Perception about Game Elements on non-game Context. Proceedings of the 12th Brazilian Symposium on Human Factors in Computing Systems., [online] pp.276–279. Available at: https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.5555/2577101.2577164 [Accessed 21 Feb. 2021].‌