The design of gamification is a very young science and technology. And like any new branch of knowledge that emerges, there is a lot of confusion and misunderstandings. This field is no exception. Each designer creates their own framework, theory, and methodology. Some of them are useful to others, while others are not.
This phase closely resembles human infancy, where every small event seems darn important, but in reality, everything fades away by the end of the day only to start anew.
I am no exception. I, like other designers, have built my own framework. I know there are already a thousand out there; mine doesn’t aim to be the best or the most used. It aims to be a guide for building future designs.
Simultaneously, I am trying to create tools and useful instruments for my present and future colleagues. None of this is set in stone. On the contrary, it’s a work in progress. I hope that future projects I work on will give me the opportunity to improve, challenge, and expand the framework.
Professional Roles Involved in Engagement Design
The designer cannot tackle these steps alone. Instead, the ultimate goal of this framework is to provide a useful map for the entire field of engagement design, whether it’s related to an app, a website, or a physical event. The design work follows the client’s specifications and needs, aligning the solutions devised by the designer. What’s needed is a dedicated team whose skills ensure the project’s success.
Listening and Analysis Phases
In the macro phases of Listening and Analysis, the designer should – if possible – work with a UX researcher or at least an ergonomics expert specialized in interface analysis. In these phases, it is essential to have an expert with a strong background in ergonomics and/or psychology. We will discuss this further in future posts.
The realm of designers. In this macro phase, the gameful designer can collaborate with a UI designer so that the solution can be immediately translated into wireframes and prototypes that are clear and useful for the entire team and, above all, for the client.
In this phase, the designer has residual but crucial tasks. In this phase, they must ensure that the implemented product does not deviate from what was designed for contingent reasons related to technology or the reference device. The protagonists of this phase are developers and content creators, programmers, content managers, sound designers, etc. The selection of these figures will depend on the form of the final project.
Frameworks and Tools Useful for Engagement Design
Obviously, this framework doesn’t come from nothing. Every project I’ve worked on has provided useful information about the process and individual steps. I’ve studied excellent frameworks that I would like to mention: Octalysis by Yu-Kai Chou, the social engagement verbs by Amy Jo Kim, the four keys to fun by Nicole Lazzaro, the book of Prof. Werbach.