Gamification Nation Gamification and game design for business results Wed, 22 Jan 2020 16:23:03 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Gamification and game design for business results Gamification Nation Gamification and game design for business results Gamification Nation Podcast 32: How to keep your gamification or game design fresh for the long haul? Tue, 03 Dec 2019 08:00:41 +0000 0 <p>Welcome to a Question of Gamification. This is An Coppens. I’m your show host and also the CEO of Gamification Nation. This week’s question of the week is, “How can you keep your gamification design or your game design fresh? It’s a question we’ve had...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Podcast 32: How to keep your gamification or game design fresh for the long haul?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Gamification Nation</a>.</p> Welcome to a Question of Gamification. This is An Coppens. I’m your show host and also the CEO of Gamification Nation. This week’s question of the week is, “How can you keep your gamification design or your game design fresh?

It’s a question we’ve had several times. It’s a question I also ask my clients, how are they going to keep people engaged over the long haul? Sometimes we build gamification campaigns that are short, snappy and just for 45 days, a season, a launch, something like that. In that case, the longevity is not necessarily a question, but a lot of the times we’re asked to build a gamification design for let’s say a learning portal, for a marketing year of. For a product that needs to attract new people all of the time. Now the hint is in it, I suppose in some sense, and it always made sense in my mind, but when I say it to people, especially in the operational side of a business, I usually get greeted with, “Oh, that’s how you do it”, kind of response.

So if you’re in learning, if you’re in HR, if you’re in anything employee facing, you’ve got to think like a marketeer. You’ve got to think like the seasons of fashion, the seasons of nature in effect, because most of the time your business, if it’s like any bit like ours, it has cyclical moves, some periods are really busy, other periods they may go a bit quieter. And how you motivate your people in the up days and in the low days are slightly different so they should be. Now in periods like January, we’ve done campaigns for telecoms organisation to beat the January blues, for example. In another company we’ve built in four seasons into their learning portal and each season brought new quests, new challenges, new interesting things to explore. So you give the impression there’s always something to aim for.

Now in recruitment, it’s probably not the same role that’s open all of the time. So varying that so that your message changes to the marketplace because people looking at your company will also look at is there variation? Is it the same all the time? So one thing that we took away from that is that a lot of companies don’t think about that at the outset of, you know, Oh, I want to do gamification, or Oh, I’m going to play a game. We’re going to need a game for X purpose. And then they don’t think any further. So what’s after the first rollout? So we make them, we asked them to think about that and say, okay, so that’s great, you’re going to invest X amount of money into building this new way of doing it, motivational way of encouraging your learners to come into your learning portal.

What are you going to do to, to make it sticky, to make them come back? No, in last week’s call or last week’s podcast, I spoke about building habits. Habits are a good thing, but again, if you know yourself, and if you’re any bit like me, you have good habits and bad habits and one of my bad habits is that I stop and start an awful lot of things and I may not always finish everything. Like, for example, you know, I have these great intentions of losing weight and I’m still working on it and I keep stopping and starting the whole chain of losing weights, eating right, exercising more, and drinking more water. So yeah, so it’s, it’s a constant reminder of good habits and we don’t always keep the good ones up forever. So we have to make sure that in any game design, but also any gamification design that we build in for those moments where people are just not sticking to what they said they were going to do.

I mean, think about your new year’s resolution. It’s, you know, something that most of us do in the beginning of the year and usually three weeks in they’re all down some dark hole over your memory and you’ve forgotten all about it. Or if you’re good, you’re still going. Give it another three weeks and maybe it starts to ease off a little. So you know, habits are good thing, but again, on their own, just having game mechanics stimulates positive reinforcements and habits, they will help, but they will not be the thing that keeps them going all the time. The key trick is to build in a social elements, so social kudos or social accountability is what tends to keep people moving for a lot longer, tends to keep people focused because there’s somebody else looking. It’s amazing what we do for other people that we don’t do for ourselves.

If somebody else checks up on my work and I know they’re checking and they’re asking questions, then I know that I’ve got to deliver on my promise. If nobody’s checking, I could get weeks with saying, Oh yeah, I’ll get around to that. I’ll get around to that and eventually I typically do, but it might not be straight away as and when it should have happened and that’s I think the nature of the human psyche in some way. Of course, there are always people that are just really good at getting things done and there’s others that you know probably don’t, so you need to help dose people with linking accountability, linking social pressure, having some mechanic in your gamification design or in your game that encouraged them to team up with one or more people so that you can group together and encourage another forward.

The other thing to do is to keep your game on your design fresh. Why is it that games often release either a sequel or an extension pack? Exactly for that reason because they know that over time if you’ve played it a few times that things get boring. So new boosters co me in, new challenges or quests come in new areas unlock themselves. Now when I look at learning design and learning portals in organizations gives us my original background. The amount of new stuff that came out on a year to year basis was typically quite limited. You try to dress up old stuff in new packaging. Most of the time to request from managers also was for all, yet they need more of this or more of that. There were very few managers that actually in the corporate sector, even as an internal trainer and L&D manager sat us down and said, okay, here’s my objectives on how you’re going to make those happen this year.

Now in one of the last organizations that I worked in as a training lead, I did that for some of our accounts and they had amazing results to the extent that then I got asked, well, whatever you did the last time, you now need to undo it because it stuck. So which, which I thought was great compliments for something that worked. But if we’re thinking about internal employee facing, a lot of employees go to work, face the same thing, do the same thing every day. And that’s not because they’re bored with the job, but that’s just the nature of the work. It may vary from one day to another to deal with different people, different clients, but their daily habits may not change a vast amount. You’ll find a sit in the same place, they eat with the same people, they’ll Culkin around the same time, take your same route to work.

So there is daily habits and daily grind that happens in order to jazz it up. is to do something new. Do something different in your gamification and in your game designs, you can do that. You can tease them into trying something new, maybe place the best on their performance. How well are they going to do today? Can they beat their best? And you know, if you have habit building streaks, yes you can use them, but they were out. You want new stuff. And I would say is, think of it like fashion designers do. Think of it like advertising managers do. Every season has different campaigns. So we’ve just ramping up towards Thanksgiving in the US we’re or we just even finished Thanksgiving and I think in the U S we are heading for Christmas and a news years in many parts of the world.

Chinese Christmas, Valentines day, Easter, you know, you name it. Different events have different reasons to celebrate, different reasons to launch new things. That’s how the commercial worlds works towards customers. So why not do it on your website? Why not do it for your employees? I remember working for one organization and I’m still good friends with the lady that used to organise the, we was the main brain behind implementing most of these things. We’re on different days of the year. So for Valentine’s day everybody got a Rose and a chocolate for example, on their desk and that people talked about for weeks. And to me that was something memorable but for something very small that happened. But that was like a moment of delight. A moment of, yeah, that was good. I would say if we can create moments like that in our gamification designs, and game designs, then we’re on to something because that’s what you come back for.

What’s the new random thing that’s going to happen that we don’t expect with dots? Potentially. Interesting. So think like a fashion designer. Think like an advertising manager. And say, okay, what is it in my world today or this quarter, that we can tap into that’s more interesting that we could create something, a quest around, a challenge around stimulate people with keeping it fresh is not necessarily hard. It doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. It can just be tweaking with some some new settings on the system. Or it can just be an email campaign. I’ve even seen whiteboard campaigns in open plan offices, so it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to change it up if you do want to do a retainer campaigns. We have launched a new service it’s called the game plan. And that means that you can have a quarterly update of your existing game design. So whether that is hat like gamification campaign that you’ve already built or a new game, simple game that you want every quarter. So we have an option for gamification companies or people looking at refreshing their gamification and we have options for games that come back and be refreshed every quarter. So inquire with us, we’d love to help you. We’d love to work with you. And I look forward to talking to you next week.


The post Podcast 32: How to keep your gamification or game design fresh for the long haul? appeared first on Gamification Nation.

Welcome to a Question of Gamification. This is An Coppens. I’m your show host and also the CEO of Gamification Nation. This week’s question of the week is, “How can you keep your gamification design or your game design fresh? It’s a question we’ve had... Welcome to a Question of Gamification. This is An Coppens. I’m your show host and also the CEO of Gamification Nation. This week’s question of the week is, “How can you keep your gamification design or your game design fresh? It’s a question we’ve had... Gamification Nation 11:48
Podcast 31: How to have corporate learning teams provide you with input for gamification and game design? Tue, 26 Nov 2019 08:00:57 +0000 0 <p>Welcome to this week’s A Question of Gamification. Welcome to this show. My name is An Coppens. I’m the show host, and also the CEO of Gamification Nation, and I first of all have to apologise for my absence. We wanted to make this a...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Podcast 31: How to have corporate learning teams provide you with input for gamification and game design?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Gamification Nation</a>.</p> Welcome to this week’s A Question of Gamification. Welcome to this show. My name is An Coppens. I’m the show host, and also the CEO of Gamification Nation, and I first of all have to apologise for my absence. We wanted to make this a weekly show and guess what happened? I lost my voice, so it’s taken a while to get back on track, and it’s still not 100%, but it’s good enough so that I can record a new episode for the podcast. I missed talking to you, but I also was glad to let the body heal, and do what it needs to do to get better.

This week’s question of the week is an interesting one. It’s one that we had to deal with recently, so how can you extract information out of learning teams that are useful for game designers, and then how do you use that information to make it into a game? So it’s maybe a double edged question. So on one side, how do you get the information out of learning teams inside a corporate sector? And then how do you make sense of it so that it actually makes sense to make a game with?

Recently we won a project and it very much involves a lot of game design around new content. So it’s learning based games but around new content for the organization. And in order to get to a base level, we obviously need the organization to tell us what kind of topics they want to cover, what kind of subjects their people need to learn, et cetera. So that was sort of a given a baseline. So then we went looking and I said to my guys, I said, “Look, what would work well from our perspective is if we followed a very basic learning design model, which I learned way early in my training career, and it’s called the KASH model, you see it for people talking about performance related training, et cetera.”

And typically it’s used in the context of making training linked to actually translating it into day-to-day on the job work habits. So KASH stands for knowledge, attitudes, skills and habits. And the whole theory behind it from a learning thinking perspective is first of all you need knowledge. Then you need the attitude to want to learn and absorb that knowledge, and then the attitude to apply it and also practice the skills that relate to the same knowledge. Because knowledge without implementation might as well, I think there is a saying, not mine but somebody else’s, that says to know and not to do is not to know. Something along those lines. In any case, I heard it several times in my career of training in the NLP sector, the Neuro-linguistics.

So KASH, easy to understand, easy to remember, but also actually very useful from a game design perspective. Because when we’re thinking about learning related games, the first thing that always comes up, oh we need to quiz. Now a quiz, whilst it has its purpose and it’s really good and very effective, it’s also one of the most overused game types for knowledge testing. The other way of spreading knowledge is to make people curious and to have hidden elements that you have to unlock or crack a code or solve a more difficult scenario in order to unlock the knowledge that they need to learn, the knowledge that they need to use for whatever new skill it is.

So knowledge tests are easily translated into games, whether that is finding stuff, whether that is creative repurposing of let’s say an arcade game or traditional games that you played when you were younger. Even simple games like Mario Runner, crosswords, different types of puzzles, they can all be made into knowledge related games and knowledge related tests, so to speak. Attitude is something not in a game and in a reality is something how you show up.

Now from a game design perspective, that’s really interesting. Your character can always have a positive and a negative side and depending on the circumstance it can choose to play either way. So if you’re thinking in the role playing game style of game, you have the option to choose the rebel who doesn’t do anything they’re being told or know to do or know that’s right. And see how that works. But you also could have goody two shoes that does everything by the book as they’re told, and see if that works, or anywhere in between.

So attitude is something you can bring into a game environment, which you don’t necessarily have the ability to do in let’s say classroom or online learning. So I think that’s where games can add the bonus in order to be more impactful than let’s say … Or add to what you’ve already taught in the classroom or in an online course. So attitude is the second piece.

Then skills is something that you repetitively practice. Now a lot of games, like if you think about games like Candy Crush or Angry Birds, there is a lot what they say grinding involved, so repetitive actions before you can level up. And that in effect is skills practice, because think about it, wherever you ended up in the higher up levels of a casual game meant that you’ve had to repeat the base skill or finding jewels, hitting pigs, whatever the case may be. You learned that and you learned that to quite a deep extent. So you could probably go back to level one and ace that nearly with your eyes closed. Because you’ve learned this skill over time. As you get better, the level should be more challenging and you may have things that are thrown at you that are different.

So the skills level then needs to go up as well and not maybe steadily up, but gradually up. A bit of resting time, gradually up, a bit of resting time, so that you have a chance to embed the new skills each and every time. The habits side of KASH, again you can build game mechanics to build habits. Now in a game environment, what we often see is things like log in streaks or winning streaks, or having to play something every day in order to keep your winning streak. For example, Duolingo uses that to great effect. Things like progression bars, things like different elements that allow you to basically progress, but also encourage you to do a little bit every day.

Reminders, notifications, social peer-to-peer pressure often are the habit building factors that help somebody stick with a game and can equally work in a learning environment. So I would say the KASH framework, although it’s very basic and it’s not necessarily an instructional design framework like an ADDIE or a Bloom’s taxonomy, but it actually offers you all the elements you need in order to translate a topic from what is it that people need to know, what do they need to be able to do? How do they need to show up? And what habits are effective over time that help them level up their general game?

So from translating learning to game design, actually that works quite neatly. The other thing that we all start trying to do was then to look at, so our beginner level, what does KASH look like? What does the knowledge they need to have look like? What is the skills they need to have? The base level? What are the attitudes you typically see at that point and what are the habits you would need to learn and build?

And from some of our very successful gamification programs we know that if we model the habits of very successful people in the organization for new beginners and new starters in the organization, it allows us to sort of map out, “Okay, what are the key things that people need to learn?” And then we reinforce the things that they need to learn and do regularly with rewards, with celebrations, with positive reinforcing messages, et cetera. So it works both for gamification and game design.

So how do you translate a topic area into something that you could work with for game design? Well, it’s called KASH, K-A-S-H. So knowledge, attitude, skills and habits. Knowledge can be translated into knowledge based games, learning games. Attitudes you can make a character around that. Be creative in terms of the gameplay and build that in. Skills is the repetition of a particular skill that they need to master. And then habits are things that you build in game accounting so it encourage people, positive reinforcements, rewards, milestones, having streaks that are valuable if you keep them, and you lose something if you don’t keep up the good work.

So I hope that gives some people some ideas, some inspirations on how you can make effective learning games from even just a one liner topical piece. Thank you for listening and if you want just to help you with your work, by all means book a strategy session. That’s probably the quickest way to see if we can help you. And then let’s go from there. Thanks very much for listening.


The post Podcast 31: How to have corporate learning teams provide you with input for gamification and game design? appeared first on Gamification Nation.

Welcome to this week’s A Question of Gamification. Welcome to this show. My name is An Coppens. I’m the show host, and also the CEO of Gamification Nation, and I first of all have to apologise for my absence. We wanted to make this a... Welcome to this week’s A Question of Gamification. Welcome to this show. My name is An Coppens. I’m the show host, and also the CEO of Gamification Nation, and I first of all have to apologise for my absence. We wanted to make this a... Gamification Nation 10:14
Podcast 30: How much does it cost to make a serious game? Tue, 15 Oct 2019 08:00:53 +0000 0 <p>Why is game design so expensive? Hi, this is An Coppens. I’m the chief Game Changer and show host of a Question of Gamification. And today I want to draw your attention to costs because it’s a frequently recurring theme for our company for sure...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Podcast 30: How much does it cost to make a serious game?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Gamification Nation</a>.</p> Why is game design so expensive? Hi, this is An Coppens. I’m the chief Game Changer and show host of a Question of Gamification. And today I want to draw your attention to costs because it’s a frequently recurring theme for our company for sure and also to draw some comparisons because, when people in business are shopping for a game most of them have not looked at what it takes to make a game.

They consider it the same as for example a website or any kind of business application. Now when you think about a game. Even some of the basic casual games that we play on our mobile phones may require several team members several pieces of software and several different lengths of time of development.

So I wanted to sort of address the question. Why is it so expensive to design a game or what constitutes the cost of designing a game? Because, more and more frequently people come to gamification and would actually like a serious game. And because both of them have a serious purpose and usually a business objective, it’s not unsurprising that this happens.

The challenge for us is that they usually come as I say it with a bicycle budget, but would like to buy a Ferrari. And that would be similar in game terminology having the budget for a very simple game like Pac-Man or Flappy Bird and actually wanting let’s say a AAA game similar to a World of Warcraft or and ideally compressed for mobile.

I mean not unusual as a request to be honest in our world, so. What constitutes the cost? I mean and I wanted too to paint a picture as large as possible. If you’re looking for something to the style of a Flappy Bird a simple quiz, one person can develop that. Design it develop it and you probably need only a couple of weeks to do it and then maybe a week or two for testing.

If you are aiming to build something much more engaging much more graphically interesting you end up already needing different tools so different softwares to get you started. So that’s the first thing. So you need different software licenses, different graphic design tools, game development tools, hosting etc.

Now for a big Triple A game and a triple A game. I would want you to think about it along the lines of a Grand Theft Auto, a World of Warcraft and OverWatch. Games that have typically a development team of minimum, five to ten people on them. So in a development team for these kinds of big big name games, you typically have lead game designer who sets the overarching concept.

You have level designers you have which are all responsible for one level and that needs to be consistent with the main story arc and the main storyline and fit into the overall vision of the lead game designer, then a narrative designer. You may also find in the larger organizations where the actual narrative is worked out based on levels, based on characters.

You may even have character designers who work out a whole story board as story Bible so to speak for each character in the game nearly as developed as let’s say a script for a movie if you will and then you usually have several programmers. Programmers tend to program games of that nature in either Unity or Unreal, the two big engines for game design and they will typically Master skills like C# or C plus. So both Unity and Unreal allow you then to push it through to different platforms whether or not it’s Android, iOS, PlayStation, web apps, Nintendo’s you name it. Most of the development tools allow you to do that.

Then on those games you also have graphic designers and animation designers. So the graphic designers may have specialties some are background designer some are character designers. And then the animation designer basically makes sure that the characters can animate the anything that needs to move also moves.

Those Graphics can be 2D, 3D. So you may have specialists in 2D graphics or 3D graphics and basically, visual effects need to happen so you could even have a visual effects artist working on a big game as well.

So as soon as you enter a real world game scenario where the world looks real and looks interesting, you’re actually talking nearly two to ten graphic designers and animators. So I mean immediately you’re into big budgets.

Just think about it people like that come with significant skill, significant training. And that goes from game designer, to level designer narrative designer, graphics animators, programmers and then you haven’t even thought about sounds so you have sounds designers and special effects designers who typically work on these games.

The game like an OverWatch could take anywhere from 12 months to two years to reach fruition and actually reach the market. So what you see out today was probably, you know dreamt up somewhere couple of years back. So, you know and the budget required a ranges from 1 million to hundreds of millions, depending on the number of levels, the number of storyline, the number of people that need to work on it.

So if you think about it while we’re a small studio and a small Agency for gamification design as a small agency, we can give you very good quality game design and gamification design within reason. I mean. Last year, we stretched to a very tight, I supposed tight goal.

We had five minigames or 10 minigames in five months rather which were basically developed for web and men stocking up on our original team of three by quite a significant number of people to get the job done. So if you think about on average, a person each month cost you two thousand pounds you’re immediately up in the anti quite significantly based on experience level based on the time we require them for, ETC.

So from my perspective, I feel often that we have to let the client down or we have to make the comparison as to okay, “What can you expect for what budget the number of interactions again that you want in a game or a cost factor and will impact how much you pay the number of players you expect the play at any given time will have impact on the infrastructure in the back end from the hosting’s perspective.

If your game over soon becomes a big Blockbuster hit your servers will server costs will skyrocket for temporary moment in time and depending on how important that is for the gameplay. This may impact the whole user experience. So, I mean that’s just to design the game then you have testing and I would recommend testing for all the games.

Even board games that we create require several play tests. So think about it. If you were giving a board game to let’s say a company like a Hasbro or other Publishers of mainstream board games. They would have to have multiple tests by multiple audiences for it to pass their quality assurance. Now, We aim for minimum 20, but ideally ninety or a hundred and that’s sometimes really six, but sometimes not given the timeline that we work towards so who it is, you know giving perspective.

So if you’re thinking of a simple game like a quiz like something, you know 2D very basic where you might have to collect something like a treasure hunt or a text adventure something along those lines. Your budget can be dealt with with let’s say two to three people in the company to give it a bit of good graphic design and I would say starting budget of about 10K seems realistic for some of those depending on how fancy you needed and how much analytics you need from it and whatever else needs to integrate with it.

You’re immediately talking about doubling or tripling the budget required. If your however thinking more along the lines of a Pokemon Go, you’re immediately in multiple of tens of thousands because you’re talking several interactions. So each Pokémon you catch has several points course interaction score is different elements that need to come into play.

So. If you think about it, there’s an awful lot more going on than just a simple text or one letter transaction. So at any given time there is probably five or six game elements in play other minimum in those kinds of games. But if you think about Grand Theft Auto any kind of racing or multiplayer online role-playing game you’re talking about tens of thousands interactions in very short spaces of time server capacity needs to be great, bandwidth needs to be great.

The interaction from a graphical perspective and the special effects The Sounds everything makes for a fabulous game experience. But those games you do not create for anything less than several millions. So, you know, and they may have had their first release on a bootstrap budget which probably still had six figures on a minimum.

If not seven and yeah, you know when we deal with clients in terms of gamification and and serious game design. We often get major push back. If our numbers even start to get close to its reviewed four figures five figures even and you know, God forbid if it’s six figures and you know, let’s be realistic if you’re not willing to put a good budget on the table then what you create on the other side is limited.

So our limit see, you know, our most basic game that we can create will still cost you 10000. But if you want something more exciting more interesting. Do make sure that you have something that’s that’s closer to two six if six figures because the reality is we will need to bring in the manpower to do it will also need to set you up on special servers to make sure that the game runs for you.

And it will require at least six to nine to 12 months lead time before it goes to Market. I mean, we have delivered crazy things and crazy deadlines. It’s not how we love to work. I can tell you that because it could puts massive strain on everyone because we’re asking people to work nearly 24/7 and to get people to do their best work flawlessly.

That’s that’s really harsh. So, you know, let’s get real. So if you are serious about making a fantastic game that represents your organization, well and represents it realistically then also do your research. I mean a simple search on how much does it cost to create a computer game gave me several comparisons online.

On how much it took to create let’s say a Grand Theft Auto all the way to a Flappy Bird and also a AAA game cost breakdown or  what people spend what on so, you know, there’s several resources out there and you want to compare like with like, so if you want to have a game that’s playable on mobile, you will require different budgets and if you want a game that’s required on web or interactive with multiple access points if you wanted Multi-Device that’s again a different conversation to have so as soon as you didn’t want integration and analytics.

You also need a budget to create the code that actually collects the analytics. The programming by itself and the game engines by itself are set up to collect every single data point, but it may not make sense. To track every single data point because that might be overkill so you need some people that make sense of okay, what actually does make sense in this context to track and to set up reporting for you may have very clear objectives with your game and we sure hope that you do especially in the series game situation or a gamification situation.

So, you know you want to make sure that you have a clear idea of what’s possible a clearer idea of what reporting for which user is you would like to see under more? We are clear on your objectives. The easier it is to a create something that hits those and be to track and measure afterwards.

What works and what doesn’t. Because a lot of the time and this is probably a secret that the games industry doesn’t want you to know is that a lot of the bugs or updates that you receive for a game will also eliminate things where people get stuck it will often be in response to. Things that people have tried and have failed a t.

It may well be that there were things broken not a fixed, but often it’s data observation that makes companies are changed what they do and how they present it to you. So in some sense gamification. He’s probably in a lot of ways the poorer brother of the game design world and you know, nothing wrong with us and also because games are so exciting to play.

It’s also seen as the solution to end all engagement or other boredom related problems and I would say careful with that is sometimes gamification or a game is not your solution. Sometimes it’s simply a management issue. So always be willing to address that question too because some things can be quicker fixed and probably more cheaply fixed if your managers did what they were supposed to do and you know take that from someone who is at least worked 1517.

Years in Industry. So take its widths what it’s worth we know and I’ve been is just as guilty as the next person we all have great intentions, but our execution may not always be Flawless as a manager and sometimes that causes problems and you know, that is part of learning that’s part of growing.

And good support systems will help your people to do better which trying to fix everything through a game or game solution may not be what is required. Some things are just better done through direct communication and good leadership. So. I would say consider your money consider. What’s possible for your budget do the research on don’t believe me and my word for it, but do your own research online and say okay in comparison to X number of games and this is the kind of quality we want what is possible for my budget?

And then come and have a look with us. I personally have major issues with Price Shoppers. We try and do price fixed price work for most of our jobs and to be done pushed for cheaper here and cheaper there. You know that sort of is also taking a ride with our knowledge. So. I would typically at some point draw the line and say well actually this is it take it or leave it or we just don’t have a deal for it not to be avoided and for those on friendly conversation is not to have to take place.

However, I’m putting this podcast out there and hopefully address the question why is gamification or game design so expensive? It’s a question. We occasionally ask or get a store and more and more so. And the reason why I mean, I feel like it’s important to answer is to have realistic expectations.

We’d love to deliver and you know, one thing that we all stand for at gamification nation is we want to be proud of what we work on and we want to be proud of what we Handover. Even if we know that if we had slightly more budget, it could be even 10 times better. You know, that is something we have to live with it.

And I think that’s every designer is Bane of their life, I guess. But yeah, it’s important for people to. To realize that okay, a 20K budget will only get you this much a hundred K will get your whole lot more and you know anything that’s so above and beyond let’s say 250 to to 500k will get you something awesome.

So, you know, that’s the reality of it if you’re willing to to put people into place and the butcher’s into place. The possibilities of what’s what’s available become a lot higher does that mean that if you have a small budget that you shouldn’t try? No, it doesn’t it means that you just have to readjust your expectations and I think about okay, what would be my minimum look and feel?

And how much can I get for the budget that I have? I may be in that case a serious game is not your answer but a gamified process because Adam game mechanics to a given process. By using existing tools that are on the market like platform Solutions or even existing apps that can do gamified Quests.

For example, there’s a few that we collaborate with and partner with so those things are feasible even on the smaller numbers, but if you come to us with say with anything less than 10, it will be 10,000. That is it will become a stretch. And it would have to be seriously good for both sides as a showcase or as a promotion tool for it to fly.

Let’s just say that anyway, I hope that answers the question. If you have further questions in relation to that, we’d love to answer them. And also if that sort of triggered an interest on you know, we want to work with you. I’m as candid as I am on the podcast as I am in real life, so hopefully not either.

Triggers you to positive way or maybe not and if not, I wish you luck to find somebody to work with and maybe some people can so in the meantime keep listening. If you like it and you loved this episode, please share it forward. And if you have questions, please send them to us. If you like our podcasts give us a good rating wherever you’re listening.

Thank you very much. This is gamification enjoying the gamification movement.

The post Podcast 30: How much does it cost to make a serious game? appeared first on Gamification Nation.

Why is game design so expensive? Hi, this is An Coppens. I’m the chief Game Changer and show host of a Question of Gamification. And today I want to draw your attention to costs because it’s a frequently recurring theme for our company for sure... Why is game design so expensive? Hi, this is An Coppens. I’m the chief Game Changer and show host of a Question of Gamification. And today I want to draw your attention to costs because it’s a frequently recurring theme for our company for sure... Gamification Nation 21:06
Podcast 29: What can gamification unlock in the workplace? Tue, 08 Oct 2019 08:00:29 +0000 0 <p>Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the chief game changer at Gamification Nation and also the show host for this show. This week’s question is what are the Learning and Development opportunities that gamification can unlock in the...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Podcast 29: What can gamification unlock in the workplace?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Gamification Nation</a>.</p> Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the chief game changer at Gamification Nation and also the show host for this show.

This week’s question is what are the Learning and Development opportunities that gamification can unlock in the workplace? A big question and it was one that I was asked by a journalist recently who was writing about gamification and other new technologies in the workplace and gamification is obviously considered as one of those So my answer was, first of all to say it’s a big question.

What are the opportunities? Well the opportunities are quite large. If you think about it most young people will have played games at some point. They may not all be lets say Esports Gamers or really into the big multiplayer online games, but most people have used regularly social media regular games like things you play on your mobile the casual variety and in the wider spectrum of games like multiplayer online games, role-playing games. I would even consider Sports board Games Etc as part of the larger gaming picture. So most young people know that and most young people have on their devices things that are gamified from the get-go. Then they end up in the workplace and they come across often very archaic looking systems or boring interfaces of the things that we use every day.

I mean, you know, there’s nothing wrong with your Word and Excel and Office products, absolutely, nothing wrong, very functional very, you know very much fit for purpose. So you wouldn’t expect there to be game mechanics on top of it. But what gamification can unlock is productivity to use those tools, productivity to complete.

So if we look out workplace productivity most managers would love to know how long are my people working on things? What does it take for them to complete an item Etc who’s in trouble? Who needs my help? Who’s actually doing very well and you know happy to keep plodding along without any hand-holding or anything else?

So those kinds of things are really vital for a manager to know and vital for a person to understand. And often for the individual we don’t get feedback on our productivity or performance until it’s too late or the person either quits or you as a manager have to have a word with the fact that you know, it’s not as good as you wanted it to be but if people knew as and when they went how things were progressing and what was good about it, you know, they would already be at a better starting point.

So that’s the first thing I would say. So what kind it unlock? More productivity, more feedback without having to be there in person. I only think there’s still a place for the person face-to-face conversation too, I so wouldn’t rule out one over the other but we work with a number of systems where you can have dashboards to see about your performance to look at completion to see how you’re doing within the team, to get basically completion rewards, completion unlocking either rewards in the shape of little items or something that you can eventually trade in for real-world items.

So whether that is a badge or real-world item, it’s a reward for something you’ve done or simply a dashboard that gives you the impression. Okay. This is where I’m at. This is where I need to go. This is how we’re doing.

This is how my work is actually having an impact on the larger company because most of us, especially — and I remember when I was in large organizations, would love to know how our work actually makes a difference to anyone because even the smallest item or smallest thing can have an impact but you don’t always know.

So knowing the bigger picture goals and how your personal goals play into that can be very interesting very rewarding and actually make people feel good about what they do.
I truly believe in workplace productivity and gamification. I think that the two kind of work quite well together. I’m also a big fan of Health trackers and fitness trackers, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise. The other one that I think works and you know where gamification can house a lot of opportunities in the workplace is to tie learning to productivity.

A lot of the time people go on courses and or take e-learning programs and then they need to make the bridge and putting it into practice. That’s not always a loop that people take so easily and I think this is where gamification can bridge the gap. Where when you have short quest so you’ve just completed a course on negotiation skills and then the next call you take on the phone is from a client where you have to negotiate and I’d say a deal if people see you do that you can do a number of things.

First of all, you can self report on how you felt what you tried how you actually applied something that you took from the course into practice if other people spotted you doing it they can give you feedback on how well you execute it. And if you are on a system where clients also give feedback they can also let you know how well that was received or you could tie it into net promoter scores or things like that.

So, I think you know gamification has the opportunity to make the journey connected and smoother from one end to the other, from training all the way into practice and then again in the training space gamification will tell you or will or should give you indications of progression, indications of habit building, indications of how deep you know the topic.

It can provide for testing things in a safe environment without having to risk. Let’s say, a major equipment failure or major damage to life or other important things in a business. It allows for reflection. And I think good gamification should make you think should make you realize mmmm. It’s not a guarantee that I’m going to do fantastically well, it should be challenging. It should stretch you and sort of say. Oh, how am I going to reach that top level and you keep trying until you get there. So there is a number of things that gamification can unlock and it’s you know, productivity resourcefulness practical implementation of on the job skill.

It can give you feedback and it can keep you on track as in on track to whatever your goal destination is whether that is a promotion whether that is learning a specific skill, whether that is just completion of work, so. From my perspective, it’s quite a linear approach to how we perform things.

And if you have gamification where storylines come in, where simulations are possible, where role-plays are possible you add another layer of reality of learning reflecting what actually happens. I’m making it life like so scenarios are a good example of feedback loops in the scenarios are another good example of gamification actually aiding the learner to be their best self to get better and to perform at a higher level.

So it kind of all look a million of thing. In our feedback what we hear regularly it unlock more confidence. We retain more information. We pushed ourselves further to achieve more. Competition was fun. We learned more about other people in the team.

We had to collaborate and co-create that made us think on how we actually do things for real. So, you know, those are the kinds of things that people tell us when we’ve implemented gamification and they’ve had a bit of time to play around with it. So. I would say there is tons of good applications for gamification and it’s the creativity of individuals designing it and how its rolled out that sort of expanded limited or put boundaries on it. I think.

So. Yeah. It’s a short answer to a long question. I hope there is so many things around it. I personally think learning and gamification by default should go hand in hand. I think it’s setting people up for success. It’s letting people try things out in a safe environment and then encouraging them to practice it for real in their day job.

So I think that’s what learning should have been from day one and often the context and connection is a made because you do everything in isolation and I firmly believe that gamification can be the bridge that sort of connects the dot between just learning and putting things into practice.

So I hope that answers this week’s question of gamification and keep listening.
If you like the show, please forward it on to all your friends and families or other people that you think may benefit, and I love to talk to you. Thank you very much.

The post Podcast 29: What can gamification unlock in the workplace? appeared first on Gamification Nation.

Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the chief game changer at Gamification Nation and also the show host for this show. This week’s question is what are the Learning and Development opportunities that gamificatio... Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the chief game changer at Gamification Nation and also the show host for this show. This week’s question is what are the Learning and Development opportunities that gamification can unlock in the... Gamification Nation 10:02
Podcast 28: How to design for people with varying abilities and disabilities? Tue, 01 Oct 2019 08:00:36 +0000 0 <p>Welcome to a question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the show host of this show and the chief game changer at Gamification Nation. Today we are bringing to you the question, how can I design for people with disabilities? And first thing...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Podcast 28: How to design for people with varying abilities and disabilities?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Gamification Nation</a>.</p> Welcome to a question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the show host of this show and the chief game changer at Gamification Nation. Today we are bringing to you the question, how can I design for people with disabilities? And first thing I was going to say, this is part of the series of inclusion by design. So I promise to share my thoughts, my philosophy, but also the things we do to actively include people and watch out for people in our designs so that they are the most successful as possible. Oh, I also explained in one of the previous podcasts that I see all of the different leaders of inclusion that we should look at. So gender, age, culture and ability as a spectrum. So the spectrum of disabilities and abilities is vast and wide to some disabilities are visible, some disabilities are not, mental health is often considered, under disabilities and you can’t see it.

Colorblindness is, you know, can be very disabling. And again, it’s not visible to us, but the person experiencing it experiences it a lot. Some chronic diseases cause pain. But may not make the person look different on the outside. So from a design perspective that brings with it a whole range of different challenges and, and different interesting points. The first point for people with varying level of abilities, and I’m calling people with abilities because even if you can’t see, you can’t touch, you have not all the limbs available to you or in use or in working order, you still have abilities. They may be limited, they may be the same. So a person in a wheelchair could just be as mentally able as the next person. We’re just not physically able to do the sport. So, you know, you have to see it from a spectrum perspective.

And I think even with the analogy with autism and is being quite relevant, which you know, the autistic girl Gretta Turnberg being in the news so much. I find it fascinating how many people are slating her for standing up for something she believes in. Whilst if this was a grown white man, would we have the same impact and the same, I suppose, nastiness towards him. And maybe, you know, this day and age you probably would judging by our current day politicians, but Hey, that’s a completely different story and a completely different mindset of all I was wanted to, to bring without analogy is that autism has been recognized as a spectrum. So there’s so many degrees and various variations of it manifesting. People have grades of being normally able to do everything and very different in the way that they do and process different things.

So the first thing for inclusion for differences of abilities is accessibility and acceptance. Now, accessibility and acceptance. If you think about it, try navigating the world as a blind person. Try navigating the world as a person in a wheelchair to understand what I mean with that. I did an experiment at an event not too long ago where I used monopoly paper money. And asked, you know, can you pick that up with a hand? And of course that was not a problem for the person. Now pick it up with, you know, your hand in your sleeves so that your fingers have knots, the same touch. The person managed to do it but it required a different skills. And then I asked them to pick it up without hands and that then became a lot more challenging. Some people reach for their feet, some people took it with their teeth.

So you know, it’s, you know, it poses a whole different range of things. And the first thing we often see when we’re designing systems for inclusion is that access is the first point. Even from a building perspective where most organizations fail is that person with the wheelchair or the person that is blind, the person with all sorts of physical ailments is just not able to make it through the door. So they fail at point of access. In video software that can be the same and abilities here could range from the physical variety to actually cognitively can they actually easily play and understand how to play. So access is one thing. Acceptance that there are people with differences of abilities is another. I mean, especially when you have family members with a different abilities that look a little bit different, you often see people stare.

You often see people look away as if they should be invisible or it shouldn’t be out. And the reality is they’re, just as special and as good as everybody else. So from my perspective, it’s making it visible, making them enjoy it. I, you know, worked with, with different schools of children, with differences of abilities and in the end of the day, everyone from a child with full abilities in, you know, physical, mental, relational, you name it, compared to anyone with limitations, in the end of the day, we all want to be seen. We all want to be heard and we all want to be loved and creating a sense of belonging and giving them the ability to play and feel part of the game is essential. Of course, they will have different outcomes. They may have different special skills. You know, my niece is a master in memory games and I think she learns that way too to navigate her her society.

She’s 21 but she hasn’t got the same mental ability. She’s probably stuck somewhere around 10 but play memory game and she’ll beat you hands down and she, she loves her game play. So, you know, these are the kinds of things that, that we need to be mindful of as designers. So what should you take into account? So first of all, inclusion is about giving them access, giving them ways to play. Way back, I read a book by Tim cook and it was about second life. Second life was a virtual world for those of you who have never heard of it. And he actually took an example of a care home where every once a week or twice a week, a group of disabled people would be allowed to play a character in second life. Some people are the arms, some people were leg and together they performed as a real normal person.

And the experiences that people had was a sense of freedom, a sense of being part of the world as if they were a normal person. So allowing your character to show up as they are. If they choose to show up with all of their special superpowers and you know, the, maybe this special disadvantages that they have. Fair enough, let them but also allow them to maybe as a group play one character to make it inclusive. Maybe, you know, once the person says on entry, I have X, a limitation that’s there is compensation built into your system so they can enjoy and play at the same level. So I always see designing for inclusion is around understanding and accepting that there are people with different perspectives, different abilities and with limitations. At the very minimum, having sound and sound narrative is like a design that should help quite a number of people.

So if you can’t see, if you can’t read, if your cognitive ability is limited in what you can understand, speech instructions, letter types that can be enhanced to be made bigger. So visually people can see it better contrasts of colors so that people with vision limitations can actually engage and play all the way down to controllers. Now, controllers by very nature have often been designed to fit certain size per people a certain size, hands and, you know, motor skills that are completely in tuned adapting them and allowing the adaptation to, to be possible to, if not playing by hands, play by feet, play by eye movement. These are the kinds of things that then makes the design considerations much more specialists that may be down. Oh, the very narrow lane. When I speak about inclusion, when designing for inclusion, what we’re trying to make sure that as many people as possible can play without needing modification to your systems.

So having clues in the system that are visible, but having clues that are linked to narrative, having clues to the system that basically guide you based on limitations and based on having full powers and maybe having different journeys through a tool designed from the outside to be able to include playing in black and white mode, which for people with color blindness is what happens every day. But some of our designs actually don’t work very well for that. When we make presentations, our slides visibly pleasing. I mean, we had looked at our social media for example, and some of the things we were pushing out are design tips where we do very busy backgrounds and you know, from a design perspective all nice and dandy, but from a person with a visionary problems, major challenge. So we’re aiming to change that.

Sometimes my team gets it right. Sometimes we still need to instruct them a bit more. So bear with us while we, while we’re all learning I would say, the way around making sure that your design is as inclusive as it can be is also to engage testers from these target groups. So engage testers of different abilities, tests or is up play testers that are typically not included in, in play. And we designed mainly for the workforce. So the most common kind of things are around Metoric, around a hearing, around vision. And part of that is because even the workplace is not set to be inclusive a lot of the time. Creating a sense of belonging is basically allowing people to be part of your game, part of your play without singling them out as a special, I mean I’m a celiac so I have to eat gluten free.

It’s not crazy thing, but it always makes me stand out when I have to look for the special menu. Having it on the menu included a listed as what’s gluten free and what’s not gluten free stops me from having to single myself out. Hey, I’m a troublesome person and you know, often for waiting staff thats just as awkward for them as it is for me. So having these things readily available on the same menu as everything else is more inclusive. Then for example, having the special menu, now, I can totally live with a special menu too. Cause that means some thought has gone into it. So, you know, but in some places they force you then to order from the manager. And not any general waiter or waitress. I had some incidents in hotels where, you know, a waitress would have told, Oh no, but the celiac societies, or this was good.

And I would’ve said, well, you know, this was an instance where the bread basket, so the gluten free bread was open on the same bread calendar with regular bread. Now for those of you who don’t understand what a celiac is, it’s people that get very ill when day ingest gluten, that’s wheat, oats, barley. And by pushing the bread mixed in with other bread and other bread being passed over to gluten free bread to put it into the toaster and even giving the same toaster for people, which a gluten allergy or gluten or celiac diseases is a major problem. So if regular crumbs go into the celiac crumbs or the celiac bread, it would mean that I’m physically sick and basically we’ll revise my whole breakfast dinner or whatever it was I was eating. Now the same wish, if preparation was done in the same area and it was cross-contaminated.

So seeing small things can actually make a massive big difference. Just keeping it separate in a separate area, away from the regular bread covered so that the crumbs from one to the other don’t fall in it even better, keep it pre-packaged so they don’t actually can get in there even if somebody by mistake drops regular bread in with it. So you know, there is, there is many things that can be done but they’re subtle there meaning that you need to be as a designer, mindful and aware I’m always reading up on these things. I follow blogs from people with different abilities. I follow Twitter accounts on inclusion and it’s some, there’s some fantastic research that comes out where, you know, you’re looking at levels of inclusion levels of things you can do. Design manuals are often available that give you assistance on how to do it better, how to make it better.

Now, I’m not claiming I know everything, but I will say that we look at the audience that we’re designing for and we try to design for the majority, the majority, we try and make as wide as possible so that kids with a variety of levels of ability can play. And the same for adults in our workplace. Gamification, the most common things are vision issues where some people are blind, some people have different levels of vision. Colorblindness is quite prevalent physical ability where maybe one arm or not having full motoric skills or limitations around with motorics or essential. So making sure that there is minimum adaptation rate or minimal adaptation required for those people to also engage with games. And gamification is quite critical. And just take a cross platform games as an example. In cross-platform games, depending what the core first platform is that the game was designed for, that’s where you probably have the biggest advantage in play.

So if you play Fortnite on an iPad, you will probably be warped by people playing on a console or a PC because of the level of control that they have over their character being so much more advanced than much more easy to control. So the way to get it right and the way to, to do better as an industry is to engage and ask groups of pilot testers of varying levels of ability with various limitations to come and play in common tests. And if you have designers who come from the perspective where they have limitations themselves, they will be the first to point out, Hey, have you thought of this? Hey, have you spotted that? Because they no they live it, they know about it every single day of their real life. So inclusion by design is an ongoing challenge. And you know, it’s an ongoing learning curve.

I’m always discovering new things that I didn’t get right. And it is a case of trialing and error, but also seeking feedback and seeking responses from those that you are trying to be inclusive for. So I hope this helps you and I hope that you’re enjoying the series of inclusion by design. Yes. Do send me on your questions. If they’re relating to inclusion, if they’re relating to anything to do with games or gamification, we’d love to address them. We work mainly on gamification for the workplace. So if that’s an area of your interest, do reach out. We can answer any question in that space as well. So if you like us and you like what we’re talking about, please do give us a star rating on this system that you’re listening to and share it forward. Thank you very much for listening.


The post Podcast 28: How to design for people with varying abilities and disabilities? appeared first on Gamification Nation.

Welcome to a question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the show host of this show and the chief game changer at Gamification Nation. Today we are bringing to you the question, how can I design for people with disabilities? And first thing... Welcome to a question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the show host of this show and the chief game changer at Gamification Nation. Today we are bringing to you the question, how can I design for people with disabilities? And first thing... Gamification Nation 18:05
Podcast 27: Is gamification manipulation? Tue, 24 Sep 2019 08:00:39 +0000 0 <p>Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. My name is An Coppens, I’m the show host and the CEO or chief game changer at Gamification Nation. And this week’s question is an interesting one which was asked at a conference of people who make a...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Podcast 27: Is gamification manipulation?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Gamification Nation</a>.</p> Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. My name is An Coppens, I’m the show host and the CEO or chief game changer at Gamification Nation. And this week’s question is an interesting one which was asked at a conference of people who make a simulations. Primarily question was is gamification just simply manipulation? And I didn’t have a chance to answer the question there. And then so I also had it in my mind and sort of play with my mind what is manipulation really. So if we think about it, how and what do we consider manipulation? So I went on a bit of a fact finding mission to get the sorts of dictionary explanation of manipulation before sort of jumping in and giving my opinion on, you know, is gamification manipulation. Yes. No. Or, you know, is it as black and white as that and in the dictionary, when we look at manipulation, it says, “it’s the skilful handling, controlling or using of something or someone, whether it’s a sculpture you made in an art class or how you convince your friends to do your homework.

Both are considered manipulation in the negative sense. It’s also explained as exerting shrewd or devious influence, especially for one’s own advantage. And so it sort of shows even in, I suppose just pure dictionary terms where you’re trying to explain a concept. It’s not that straightforward. It’s not always negative. It’s also not always positive because if we look at is from making a sculpture perspective, because money pinata, it comes from the Latin handful. It’s, you know, it could be handling something and skilful handling can be positive. If it is, let’s say a sculpture handling a piece of wood or a piece of clay or a piece of stone to sculpt a beautiful piece of art out of it. Yes, it’s manipulating the brick to become something different and you wanted to be, and you know, for some people that’s probably why did you waste a really good break or really good piece of wood.

But for others it’s, it’s an amazing piece of art and I think it’s not that far removed from, you know, when we actually give or exert influence over an individual or someone to do something. Manipulation can be, you know, something good and something bad. And I see it as, you know, a potential of having two faces, both positive and negative. And I actually see gamification in very much the same light. Any good tool used for bad reasons or bad purposes will have bad outcomes. And you know, that’s the same with great technology to world over. Even games on simulations can be used to influence people to make decisions that really you want them to consider twice or maybe not make at all. So it’s, it’s not as clear as black and white. It’s more of a gray scale. And then it’s kind of how many shades of gray do you need to go to before?

For you. It’s a, it’s a no, no. So if we look at gamification, so gamification in my view is a contains nudges. It contains game elements. It contains an element of understanding human behavior and what are we tending to do and tending not to do and how can we then come to an outcome that is best for the individual for whatever older purpose the gamification was designed for. So let’s look at it from a coaching perspective and that smile original background. So I come I suppose to, to world of gamification through the lens of, Oh, a former coach, I was first a sports coach. I coached basketball for years and years and also played basketball for years and years. So for me, coaching always was about understanding where the individual is out with their skills level and then trying to, you know, nudge them forward into their next level of ability.

I think back to the team, I coach two of the longest, which were in basketball and in Belgium we had the microbes, the microbes were the youngest possible kids that could take up basketball. You had to be five and a five years old on that category. I think around even all the way to nine if I’m not wrong, I’ll be wrong on that. And then from nine till 12 he became a Benjamin. So I had the microbes and I also for a time had the Benjamins and then occasionally I was a sports coach at sports camp for the Belgium basketball Federation and stuff. So I suppose did try out, I did study as much as I could learn about coaching, Dysport of basketball. Also did all the certifications that you don’t were required to make sure that you could coach out that particular level, et cetera.

So what I always wanted to achieve, I still think back to, to my microbes, he had a nickname. It was an and the Hoovers. Now if you’ve met me, you know, I’m not particularly told, and all of my microbe team or table Heights [inaudible] you know, some of you who would say even, you know, a sitting room table, how you split out. We’d say kitchen, table Heights. And so the kids were small, but they were all very young. So they were all just five or just six. And we had one or two older brothers in the team. So it was, it was really funny. So we were super fast. We created a lot of dust, which is why we had the nickname, the Hoovers. We hoovered up all the dust. What we were at a disadvantage. I mean in basketball, LinkedIn is a, is a positive.

We were at a disadvantage with height but my kids had passion like no tomorrow. And I always looked at it and said, you know, we had a little kid called Kevin and Kevin had a real fight. Her spirits, you know, grew up on, on the streets, I think playing out on the streets and you know, fighting his way to be noticed type of thing. He was the youngest of a family. And then we had, I think it was, yeah, I think it was called told him who was an only child in a, in a very lovely family setting and you know, much more protected. And I don’t think he was ever allowed to play outside. So the difference in terms of skills was actually quite significant. You know, Kevin’s goal Dominican joined was to score. So whatever he did when he got the ball, he would throw it from wherever he was standing to go on obviously.

When you’re a table height, that’s not a, not a mean feet. So we had to teach him the basic skills to go at score, but his goal, his outcome, his desire was to score and little tone was a bit different. Tom was much more scared of the ball and he was afraid that he would get hit or lose it or do something wrong. So for him, actually I set him the goal because he was too scared to set a goal. And I said, look, let’s catch the ball. And then you give it to Mike who is the dedicated receiver. And it was then Mike’s job to make sure that when you saw that Tom had the ball to common beat close to tell them to, to collect it. And you know it works. I mean, boats, kids, both Kevin and Tom the first time they actually hit their goal, I was their biggest champion and biggest cheerful leader kind of jumping up and down.

Yay, well done. Fantastic. And I still to this day in my, you know, can see their faces like you know, glowing and you know, so delighted. I think Kevin grew 10 centimeters in size, just purely out of pride. And the same with Tom. Tom was super delighted he did it and you know, we had a big celebration about it. Now in the larger scheme of things, did we win the game? No, we didn’t. We were well overpowered by elders, but duh in the short term was not our power, our priority or, and even mine as it coach my job, because they were the first introduction to basketball they ever got. My job was to sort of instill the basics. So all of the training sessions, all of the games we did play, you know, we, the focus was on getting the basics right, learning to dribble, learning to pass, doing a layup.

And you know, yes, scoring was great but was icing on the cake at the beginning. And then once we won a few games, it became a bit more interesting too to do a bit of tactical gang plate. But for kids that age, the reality is, you know, you need to teach them the basics so that later on in life they can then do all the fancy footwork with special tactics and specialists, coaches on that fraud. But for us it was important they learn the basics of attack, the basics of defense, and that we didn’t get hammered by every single team. Well, we did when it was a massive celebration and it did happen the first year. It was a bit, I think we only want that one game. The second year it came a bit better and little by little there was progress. But as a coach, I always felt, look, I need to make sure that it’s still fun because for kids, so five, six, seven, the a to Z awesome is amazing.

You need to direct it. But also it’s about nudging them into doing what’s the right way of doing it and coaching them, teaching them to some extent what will get them the best results. So you could say, and you could argue that you know, always manipulating them to be better players. Now the fact that you’re joining a sports team and you know pretty much all your family wants you to get better and that you may like it. Look, Kevin have the objective to score your first goal or for Tom to catch your first pass. Those things were major on yet, so achieving or you know, so rewarding once they achieved it. So from my perspective, yes you could call me the manipulator as a coach, but you could also call me the facilitator, the enabler, the person that actually set them up to be better at basketball.

You know, you could argue both sides and I actually really think I see came with vacation and very much that light, any technology used for bad reasons will have bad outcomes. If we look at the most gamify systems today, which in effect are social media systems. Yes they can have a negative effect. If for example, you were suffering with a low self esteem and you see everybody in your circle of friends doing much better than you or they get the likes and you don’t get the lives for anything you post you know there is social pressure. There it is, you know, peer to peer oriented. So, so can it be bad? Yes it can. Can it also be good? Yes, I do think it can. And you know, the fact that we data share is what made the social media take advantage of us because they know us better than most.

I mean they see what we respond to, what we react to. But that’s been the science of marketing and market research since, I don’t know, day one of their existence because they knew duh, if you knew your customer better that can design better campaigns, more engaging campaigns and gamification in effect is no difference because we borrow from market research and marketing the fact that we are studying our target audience that we want to see what are their preferences, what are their tendencies in order to move them towards a given goal. Now that goal is where the differentiation is in my view, which we need becoming manipulation or something much more positive. You know, if we consider manipulation to divide version because the way the question was asked, you know, was clearly seen that manipulation was a bad thing and you know, whatever the opposite is, let’s call it enabling was seen as a good thing.

So I would say we still have free choice and even in the coaching situations all the kids have the choice to ignore my advice on how to do something. And you know, in the execution you sometimes forget the basics and you just do what you think at the time is the right thing to do under saying with social media, you don’t have to have it on your phone, you don’t have to have it on your computer, you can choose to log in or not. But a lot of us have been conditioned by that woman. One simple question, what are you up to today? What are you sharing today? So there is, you know, an our curiosity of being nosy, of what everyone else is up to, what’s happening in the world and the world being your little universe on whatever the algorithm presents to you.

So, you know, it’s an algorithmic AI level that I think we need to be much more careful than with the game accounting scene effect. And those need to be, are within with a lot of ethics in mind. But I think gamification, like anything needs to be designed with ethics in mind. And question, is it good for the person or is it not? And actually if you look at the Nobel prize winning works from Richard tolerant, he’s collaborators on nudge. I mean I would highly recommend the book knowledge. Do you have the same consideration in behavioral economics where in fact if we are left to our own decisions and our own devices that we actually do not choose the most optimal choices for us, we actually are inherently seeking the path of least resistance and that’s the majority. Again, that’s not every single person on this planet.

There are outliers and everything, but in his work he basically said if we are designing a cafeteria for people to eat and make the right choices, Don our best for their bodies, then it’s about layouts, but it’s also about education. It’s about much more than that. So you know the nudge teary is about nudging people and reminding people that, Hey, are you definitely choosing the best option for you? It’s not about after the facts analyzing, Oh, you did wrong. It’s before the facts and making whatever choice you want to make as easy as possible, as convenient as possible so that that part to least resistance is opens and open up for you. A few odd in game mechanics and gang dynamics into that play. Then immediately I would say is you wanted really know your user very well to see, okay, what are they trying to achieve?

So imagine a gamification from a purpose of learning and some applications like Duolingo have a a good balance of over mix of, of game elements. Well one of the ones that is very much oriented for teaching you to do the right thing because you know that if you’re left to your own devices you won’t do it is the winning streak example where the game accounting basically entices you to practice a little every day and to get her with energy levels of the words that you’ve already learned. Those two in combination will show, okay, am I actually still improving on how do I practice a little every day? It’s like all your Fitbit’s your sports and exercise tracker is giving you the notes. Hey, you said today was a good day to remind you that you know it’s a good time to go out and exercise. So the nudges is what keeps us going.

The same with my basketball team. If I had not been the person to celebrate, I would have taken away from their achievement when both Kevin scored and told him took the ball. So in some sentence both of them go reinforcement to say, Hey, job well done. That was exactly what we trained for and now we can level up and do the next step. And that was, to me that was key and I think that’s, that’s how I see gamification is yes, you want to understand the user enough. If they sign up for our learning gamification app, like I’m learning a language, then we can expect that they want to improve their language skills. So nudging them forward to practice a little everyday and keep the energy off of their memory fresh and their vocabulary fresh I think is a positive. Is that manipulation in the strictest sense of the world?

Probably yes. But then the underlying question is, is that a bad thing? Because the person has indicated by downloading the application though they wanted to learn our language and you know, you know that it’s best to do a little bit installments every day. The same with the person setting two reminders in the fitness app that every three days to see it together, reminder to say, Hey, it’s time for us to take a bit of exercise. Is that a bad thing? Is that manipulation? Yeah. You know, you could call it manipulation. I mean in the true technicality of the world, it’s, you know, skillful handling, controlling or using of something or someone. So yeah, you know, it’s hand holding, you’re subject to their desired outcome now where it becomes a lot more dodgy. And I would say also a lot more questionable is when you set the goal and not the end user, when you enforce or force someone to take gamification as part of their pathway and they have no choice to opt out.

Now there is very few systems where I’ve actually seen that it’s completely enforced. But you know, I would always say, you know, make it free to play on a voluntary to engage in, not everybody’s gonna love it. And that’s okay. Some people prefer simple design on everything. It’s like the search on Google. You don’t need anything else but search because this the simplest, most straightforward way to, to getting there. What would help about Google and me is if I could give a rating on the kind of quality of search results I’m getting back because algorithmically it’s not always optimized for me or for what I’m looking for. And the fact that you know, every search I do trains my computer to think, Oh gosh, she must be looking at problem data angle. But when you do a lot of learning design and design of different projects, it’s a right mix.

So what I give back as recommendations and suggested reading is often different to the next person. So, but that’s not gamification as algorithms. And that’s artificial intelligence. That’s us teaching computers what we like and what we don’t like. So that’s where I think we have a far more deep going question of manipulation, ethics and a whole range of things. So, so those types of things I would say careful, but when it comes to gamification and people actually opting into your system to achieve a specific goal and a lot of gamified systems actually ask you to set a goal and then assist you on getting there. So a lot of the work we do in learning and HR is very much optimized and the controls are handed over to the individual user, at least in our designs. I can’t obviously speak for everybody else’s, but you know, we are trying to give people the choice sometimes explicitly.

Sometimes it’s, you know, what we think is the best for them based on the goal that they’ve indicated. Because every piece of gamification design has a goal. It starts with a purpose and then we build a journey to get people to their end result. No. In for example in you may taught me argue this one in a lot of compliance related learning, we see the requests for all, we must get our people to do this and you know by making it more fun by art gamification, people will do it. Now I would also then question, okay, can they prove that they don’t need to take it? Because to me part of compliance and training for compliance is to actually test if people understand what they’re supposed to do or not to do. Give them scenarios where you basically test their knowledge and based on the score they get today, either get to take part of the course the whole course or none of the course, but they do comply with the certification that actually they understood in every single part of the situation what they should or shouldn’t do because effectively that’s what your end outcome is.

And if you think about it in that way, even forcing someone to take a blind straining, you know, as long as the outcome is reached in the way done the end user has the choice on, has the free will to take part, not take part to complete it fully the traditional way or to test out because they’ve proven they have the knowledge. That to me is end result achieve. There is always more than one way to get to a destination. So is game-ification strictly speaking, manipulation. It can be manipulation for good manipulation for bad. If it is for bad people still have free choice. You don’t have to take part. I do believe that there is a big request for ethics on a big need for it to be ethical. So, so yes, but people still have choice. So is is by default manipulation? No, not by default.

If given and put in the wrong hands and billed for the wrong purpose, it can have. So it’s not as clear cut as yes it is or no, it isn’t. If in the wrong hands, yes, he can be considered manipulation if in the right hands with the right intentions. I mean look at it in recruitment. So we do a lot of work for defense forces and some people say, Oh, we don’t need to create war. In actual fact, one of the works that we did is was to showcase all of the humanitarian and more social oriented work they also get to do, especially at times of peace. You cannot get away that you know that are there for defense reasons. So they’re actually virtual. The world word means that they’re there to defend the interests of the country, not necessarily to go and actively attack on other because otherwise they would call the attacks as opposed to the defense forces.

So there is different ways of portraying everything, but people that are really not interested in careers in defense forces will do take our par games or will they express interest at the end of a gamified process for them? Probably not. If they really have an aversion to everything to do with equipments, dots, you know, it can be used in both. Good and bad ways, then yeah, they’re not going to and, and that’s okay because then those people would not be the right people for digital, I would say. So you know, when you’re looking at manipulation, what I would say when you’re looking at gamification, I would say design it with the outcome in mind. Does best for the end user first of all. And for an outcome that they can assign or agree with. I mean, of course you don’t want them to do something they don’t want to do.

You need to have a way out if they’re in a job that they don’t like, if you want to stay there with them to stay there or do you want them to do find somewhere where they’re happier? Well, I think I know what I will, but that’s me. So declare coach answer is gamification. Manipulation in my view, it can be yes. And it can be no. So it’s a dual answer with a lot of gray between what makes gamification positive is when it’s in the interest of the end user ideally set up so that it’s built to design to hit the goal of the end user on nudging them towards that goal is where the game mechanics actually make the difference. And it also always should include the option of freewill voluntary participation and you know, freewill to opt out as well and turn it off unfree will where possible.

And that’s the recommendation for them to only share what they want to share and not make it an enforced you have to share or else you know. So there is multiple ways of seeing it, but in my view, gamification is it positive thing? I would say that I’m in the business, so take it with a pinch of salt that you need to, but I hope this sort of makes you think and makes you consider, okay, while you’re, are you doing gamification? Is it good for us? Is it good for the company? Is a good for the end user? Is it good for them to achieve their goals? If you can positively say yes to all of it, then you know, gamification can go ahead without it becoming a political discussion. If, however, there is nos in the mix, then the question is why? Yes, why no and where do you need to be careful? So think it true. Don’t just take it as a blanket yes or blanket no, it’s yes, maybe on, you know, if maybe den, what do we need to make sure that we get right in, in that potential mix. So this is a question of gamification this week. I hope you are enjoying the show and please share it forward. If you do on, send us your questions. I’d love to answer them.

The post Podcast 27: Is gamification manipulation? appeared first on Gamification Nation.

Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. My name is An Coppens, I’m the show host and the CEO or chief game changer at Gamification Nation. And this week’s question is an interesting one which was asked at a conference of people who make a... Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. My name is An Coppens, I’m the show host and the CEO or chief game changer at Gamification Nation. And this week’s question is an interesting one which was asked at a conference of people who make a... Gamification Nation 26:58
Podcast 26: What are the design choices to consider when designing for inclusion? Tue, 17 Sep 2019 08:00:13 +0000 0 <p>Welcome to this week’s a question or gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the show host for this episode. And I’m also the chief game changer at gamification nation or also known as CEO. And this week we are continuing down the line of...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Podcast 26: What are the design choices to consider when designing for inclusion?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Gamification Nation</a>.</p> Welcome to this week’s a question or gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the show host for this episode. And I’m also the chief game changer at gamification nation or also known as CEO. And this week we are continuing down the line of the inclusion by design series. And the question that we want to attack or answer is what are the implications of trying to be inclusive by design and the design choices I need to make. So this week I want to start with an example namely to be a sports watch. Now, It’s an example that I’ve blogged about a number of years ago and it’s also a product that I think showcases how inclusion is not always there from the outset and then allows for niche products to appear. And this is a very niche product but actually created out of a need that was real for the target audience.

So the BS sports watch was designed for by, designed for and by female triathletes. So those are the ladies that swim, cycle, and run a mega long distances for fun or for achievement. And many of them train very long distances to prepare for competition days. And one of the things that they found is that the sports watches on the market weren’t necessarily suited for a female wrists or for their sport because you know, it needs to be waterproof, it needs to be a long lasting battery. It also needs to still be visible so that you can see the various statistics that you may want to see in this situation. So what the ladies did first before designing the watch, they say, well, let’s explore if we’re the only ones with this problem. And they started asking their fellow colleagues, around and said, look, you know, what would you like in a sports watch that you would take as part of your training?

And what came out was people were looking for something slim and ergonomic something that was lightweight to wear. And both those things came up because the traditional watches that were made for women were just smaller versions of what was made for a man and that often then obscured the face and made all the letters smaller. For those of you that are users of smart watches or FitBits, trying to fiddle with lots of things that are tiny means that you often have to repeat some things several times. And if you’re like me trying to hit the right application that I want to launch from the Apple Watch is a bit of a trial and error situation. And again, when it’s so basically, they say, well, want something slim, ergonomic lightweight to wear, but also a one button to start something really user friendly design.

So the user experience needs to be one click we’re on, we’re off. And you know, easy to do while you’re running, while you’re swimming, when you’re cycling without losing your speed. And obviously because of their long distances and duration of training, that could actually be quite extensive and, for most of us, way beyond our reach. They also needed long battery life, but I mean battery life for those of us that use smart devices, we know how important it is. So when your battery drains without even having lasted the whole day. So, especially then when it’s a productivity and a training tool, you do want it to last the distance of wherever you’re going, swimming, cycling or running. They also wanted, and this was a feature that had never been included before, was an SOS button. So they could discreetly launch an SOS, to let’s say a family member or relative that could checkup where they were on their route or where their GPS location was in the case that they hit an unsavory situation and, you know, way back, I used to train for marathons and often on the long runs I used to do them in the mornings early on a Sunday or Saturday, typically speaking.

And sometimes you meet some strange characters, not you sort as I’ve been, I better keep running fast here because I’m not so sure which way this is gonna go or you know, worse. Again, you end up injured and you need somebody to help and come and collect you, which is also possible when you’re tired, you may miss step or you may fall or you may be hits or you know, by car or whatever. So there may be many reasons why you may need to launch an SOS, but you don’t necessarily want to scream and shout and hope somebody hears you. You do want to send it to the people that matter to you, that could actually take action on your behalf. So that was something that most of the products on the market at the time definitely didn’t do. And it was a very feminine kind of problem where safety as a value tends to play higher on the scaled.

And for a lot of guys, they also wanted active positive reinforcement at the end of a training I something that told you, hey, you’re best out of x number or hey, well done. You completed your training, keep up the hard work. You know, things like that. Not In childish, but something that made them feel good that actually you’ve been out there, you’ve been rocking it and you know you’re doing your best on, you know, that’s obviously where gamification can play in. Nice, neat little role. So I wanted to give that as an example because it’s a good starting point. A lot of the time when when we see product development trying to go and appeal to women, we get the pink version and it doesn’t have to be pink. I love pink by the way, but it doesn’t have to be paying.

There’s plenty of ladies that do not appreciate pink. So, you know, what we do wanted to do is to be functional first and foremost and to be purpose driven for the role that we’re performing at that time. In fact, if you want to delve deeper are there are several studies around the fact that actually females associate more with the role that they are performing and doing that role to the best of their ability and having tools to be the best in that given role. And therefore their gadgets that we use to support those roles need to fit in with the values we experience and the experience we want to create. And you know, that goes from the discrete SOS button to the positive reinforcement. But also, for example, not to be wanting to be seen as the damsel in distress or the princess that needs saving because not all of us do.

So it’s, it’s something that I thought was a, a good starting point. So, so few, if you look at that from a design perspective, what they basically had to do was inquire with the target audience. So what they first in for foremost did was they went and asked their, their colleagues, their friends or other people with the same problem. And then what they did is they adapted the product itself. So the actual visual look, and I dare you to look up the design because it is rather unusual but actually quite snazzy, quite cool. And you can see why plenty of women would find it an attractive tool. So the first thing, the first design choices, product design, product design and improvements in product design is testing it with your target audiences. And that means observing them. That is mean letting them play with it and see how they respond, what they find Novation whether they like it, dislike it, collect feedback but also observe where are they getting stock, what are they not using?

For example, I’m aware of an Apple Watch. I think I have the man’s model because I find it quite big and Chunky for my wrists. And I immediately from day one I think ordered custom colors for, for the band because I didn’t like the plastic look of the silver band that was on it. So I have nice and colorful designs in bands that I can now change whenever I feel like it. So product design wise, I also find it a very fiddly tool. So once that it does read a time and it gives me reminders on the weather and keeps track of my heart rate, et Cetera, you know, I find it useful, I always wanted it, but I also find that there is a lot of improvements that can be done to the actual design to make it more user friendly.

So when you’re talking about inclusion. So last week I spoke about I think it’s last week or the week before last I spoke about the framework of inclusion by design being culture, being abilities, being gender, being age. And if you’re thinking about product design across those four big pillars, then it to be most exclusive. You want to make sure that if your target audience spans across a cross section of all of them, then at what point are you excluding at what point is your cutoff point. So is it only for people between x agents, x, x, and y age? Is it only for women? Is it only for men? Is it maybe for both? Is it for certain markets but not for others? And I think, you know, the first thing when you are talking about different markets is ability to have language that’s in different, different characters even at times.

So product design is also about the financials, the cost of your product, the shape of your product. So think about this in virtual reality. More and more research is coming out about the design of the headsets. And a lot of people in the learning space or in the corporate space would find virtual reality, quite scary for two reasons. That it blocks a first thing is that it blocks out reality so that they can’t see what’s happening around it and therefore needs to be in a very safe environment where they don’t feel that somebody could potentially take advantage of them. So there’s that as a, as a consideration. And then secondly, something I read very recently was that 90% of the headsets are designed for VR actually don’t fit 100% on female heads because, I mean the official our heads, but the peoples of our eyes are not centred.

And therefore as a secondary we experience, we have a higher likelihood of experiencing motion sickness on that. Some people experience in VR. So you know, from a product design perspective, even the telephone, our smart phones, the current range of smartphones is actually on average about a centimeter to two centimeters too big for a female hand. And you know, again, these are design considerations now they are not made intentionally but do happen because somebody thought it was a good idea. And also because very often our product design teams are from one gender only. And if you’re aiming at both sides of the gender divide to use your product, then you want to test it with both and also see if it actually still works as intended because it may not. So if you, if we’re aiming for 100% inclusion product design and designing for people with different levels of ability is a major challenge.

So you might, you know, a headset for someone that’s blind, it may still not mean anything. So their experience has to come from touch, has to come from sound. So you use, you also then need narrative. You, you need audio and ideally something tactile that take a work with a to get the same kind of experience. So inclusion impacts definitely choices in product design. And you know, from the example I gave on one of the previous podcasts is a simple as a thing as paper money in a game. If it’s too small and too flimsy, it becomes harder for people with Metoric differences in abilities, not, you know, make it harder for them to, to play the game. And you may need to adapt the rules in order for them to feel part of things. So product design has something to do with that.

Some of us will have plenty of cash to tap into. Others may have to do it with more limited, I suppose, affluence and therefore, you know, that’s why you have the Google cardboard or the cardboard VR decks all the way to you know, your top notch HTC vive or Oculus or you know, whichever the latest and greatest is today. So there is inclusion choices to be hired in, in that. The other, the other elements that you would need to consider in inclusive design are the colours. A colour bright blindness is actually much more prevalent than we think. Green, red is not always visible by many people or by the majority of people. So it’s something that often in games needs to meet to be compensated by contrast needs to be able to, you know, a great asset test for, for your design is always, if I was going with just pure black and white lenses, what can I still see?

Am I still able to play with the gray skills or the black and white contrast? Because that will tell you if someone is colour blind Twitter, they can still be participating in play visuals. And if you’re using visuals and I characters you want to make them as inclusive as possible. So I would say all colours, all race, all age groups, even in animates characters are essential for, for some of the Games. And letting the person who enters the game choose and change as they go is amazing. I think one of the Games though that really speaks to me in terms of character design is Overwatch, you have so many options. You can choose different different outfits, different game styles, different type of, of tools that you, you we call go to combat with. So there’s, you know, and I actually think the designs of that game are amazingly beautiful to look at.

And you know, it’s just the appreciation of that, that that takes forever to put together. And I have to say, the artists are not are, are just out of this world in terms of skill with the visuals that you have. So I gave an example and one of the talks I did recently of a specific campaign that I’ve also blogged above, which you can look up, which was a recruitment campaign for Jaguar Land Rover, where they had used the application from gorillas and an intro by a, you know, dark skinned power lady who gave the instructions as you know, she, she invited you to come and prove yourself where you good enough to be an engineer in their offices and then, you know, invite into the game. And I was challenged afterwards to sort of say, well, actually, no, it was a very feminist thing to do.

To talk about that and you know, if then people in reality don’t see female managers and don’t see that person back in real life then this individual said it was actually very much tokenistic and feminist too to use. Now, you know, I get the feminist comment quite a bit and at this stage I think it’s more a reflection of the person than off of me. I am female. I have learned to live with her society around me that’s maybe not always built by females or four females. And that’s okay. I mean, that’s perfectly fine. But I also want to promote a female role models. And I actually, I really liked that particular recruitment game because I thought it touched on a lot of great stuff. It had really sussed out the target audience. It was a really difficult set of problems that you were solving through a very edgy application.

The fact that the instructions were given by a female of dark skin, actually I thought was a bonus and an amazing, rather than, you know, token female. But if indeed nobody sees a female on the floor of the workplace or even in the interview process, you know, you begged the question, was that done on purpose? We’ve worked in on a game also to specifically with the view of being more inclusive and we included females, we included coloured, we included white. Why? Because there was a variety and a mix of people in the workforce, not Su, you know, would represent that we did test and we went to test several times to see if the visuals would be off putting, inviting. We also tested the language on a, what we got back is that the language was too friendly for our game and that they wanted something harsher more, you know, more in your face, more feedback.

Like rather than Nice, nice, you keep doing and keep going. So, so that was good feedback. And for the target audience we then adapted a, the the language and we are going back to another round of testing to make sure that we also appeal to the different cultures that we wanted to appeal to. So too to see if that was not thing there that would put them off and you know, forced them not to play. So, so visuals, having role models in it is good, but also being mindful that some visuals actually are off putting in some scenarios or you know, have at least a health warning to, to kind of point out, look, you may experience this. And that’s if there is, let’s say guns in it and people don’t like guns. But it could be as simple as a food product that’s not used in a certain culture.

It could be that in some cultures certain dress codes are not okay. We’ve worked on learning related scenario where all of the characters had to wear the hijab and long white dresses and head covers for men as well. So, you know, these are cultural considerations that sometimes you, you need to take into consideration and say, ah, right, that’s my target audience. So therefore we need to change that. And it’s flexing your design muscles. So it’s, I think as a designer it’s actually exciting to work with different limitations language. Most European and you know, western languages read left to right. But some of the Middle Eastern ones and Chinese go the opposite way around. So where you positioned things on a screen will become totally different. How you design even where people click and what people click needs to flipped out completely from one side to the other.

So having enough space for the character is becomes a thing because, you know, just try translating from English to French or German sometimes and you’ll experience that exact problem that, you know, certain languages, the buttons just need to be bigger and that’s okay. But language is something to be mindful of. And languages, tone, languages, culture, languages, gender, some things a female would never say or a male would never say. So there’s, you know, a whole range of things to take into account. The only way, the only fail safe way to get it right is to iterate and to multiply the amount of things you do. And to start with, you know, sort of a checklist in side too. If you needed a checklist, I would say colours, visuals, language, product design, multi-modality and multi-modality. I would mean speech, text, video, images you know, glowing items, whichever the case may be, but appealing to as many of these sensors as possible.

Why? Because the more senses you engage, the more you can engage people across the spectrum of abilities. The more you can engage people across the spectrum of age as well. And probably culture and gender to a lesser extent. But abilities and age are major when it comes to multimodality and it’s also a lot about preferences. So some of us love listening to things, others might love reading things and you know, the game genre that you choose to design. And we’ll already, you know, exclude some by default and include some by default the rules that you use. Again, need to be simple enough for age groups to understand or different cultures to understand where maybe you are introducing some new gameplay, how that has never been done before. So you want to make it easy enough. The duration for which it is used also plays a role in your rules, your extent of your game of course, which is already there, which is not necessarily an inclusion limitation, but if you’re limited for time.

So for example, if we’re designing a game that needs to be played and debriefed within 45 minutes, we need to keep the rules as simple as possible. Therefore the game play, will it be adapted, therefore maybe visual becomes much more important, you know, so there is, there’s a whole range of not calling effects that happened. Game elements used also impact on inclusion. So we often have the debates competition versus collaboration, which appeals more to whom. And actually that’s not just a gender perspective. Competition appeals more to the younger age group, less so to an older age group appeals more to to men, but that’s gender or masculine behaviour and lesser to feminine behaviour. But that’s not also foolproof because women, when they feel they have a chance to win and are able and well-equipped enough to compete at the other level playing field will compete just as hard as a man will.

So it’s not as clean or clear cut as that. So that’s why it’s, it’s four pillars in some companies and countries. Competition is unheard of in others it’s encouraged. So it’s even culturally specific too, to an organisation or country. So the key for inclusion is always am I allowing all of the people, all of the players to win. And what am I doing in terms of colours, visuals, language, product design, multi-modality rules, and game elements that makes it as inclusive as possible. The only way to get it right is to test and iterate. And as soon as you have to make adaptations to make someone feel more included, that means you’re not a hundred percent inclusive by design. So therefore a new iteration is necessary. It’s not because you failed, it’s because you need to iterate and that’s fine. So gains improve. So in summary, keep trying, keep iterating.

And yes, across the four pillars of culture, age, gender and ability do aim for 100% check if your colours are inclusive. Check if your visuals are inclusive from characters to gender to abilities to, you know, culturally acceptable visuals. Check your language, the tone, the culture, the gender, you know, the typical things that are said in your target audience or not said from a product design perspective. Tested for sure on the segment that you’re aiming for the majority first. And then, you know, go wider as you can. Multimodal I think is the most have a, unless you’re a text-based adventure and you’re text-based adventure, right? In which case anyone that doesn’t read is by default excluded. With, you know, there’s a, you know, there’s maybe a pointed out the rules obviously make them as good as you can for the audience that you’re aiming for and the game elements.

Make sure not your, actually, I love to co-create so I always encourage it with with my clients. So where possible, co-create and help them to pick game elements that are useful for the games that you’re creating. So I hope that helps identify some of the choices that you will be making in terms of a design to give you an input on to what’s possible, what’s necessary. So thank you very much for listening to a question of gamification and do ask us your questions, especially around the topic of inclusive by design. We will keep going on this theme for a few more sessions and if you enjoy it, do give us a good rating and love to hear from you. Thank you for listening.


The post Podcast 26: What are the design choices to consider when designing for inclusion? appeared first on Gamification Nation.

Welcome to this week’s a question or gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the show host for this episode. And I’m also the chief game changer at gamification nation or also known as CEO. And this week we are continuing down the line of... Welcome to this week’s a question or gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the show host for this episode. And I’m also the chief game changer at gamification nation or also known as CEO. And this week we are continuing down the line of... Gamification Nation 26:46
Feminine Gamification Viewpoint: Interview with Margaret Burnett Thu, 12 Sep 2019 08:30:23 +0000 0 <p>Feminine gamification viewpoint: Interview with Margaret Burnett Podcast 8: Where to find inspiration for gamification? In a question of gamification this week we are honoured to have the company of Margaret Burnett distinguished professor in Computer Science at Oregon State University. She has carried out...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Feminine Gamification Viewpoint: Interview with Margaret Burnett</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Gamification Nation</a>.</p> Feminine gamification viewpoint: Interview with Margaret Burnett

Podcast 8: Where to find inspiration for gamification?

In a question of gamification this week we are honoured to have the company of Margaret Burnett distinguished professor in Computer Science at Oregon State University. She has carried out research in relation to gender inclusiveness in software use and developed a research methodology to test for potential stumbling blocks your users may face.



An Coppens: Hi, I’m An Coppens from Gamification Nation and I’m delighted today to have with me Margaret Burnett who is a Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at Oregon State University in the USA. Now, I’m so delighted to have her on board because her research focuses on end user programming, end user software engineering and gender issues in this type of context. Welcome to Gamification Nation today Margaret.


Margaret Burnett: Thank you, I’m delighted to be here.


An Coppens: Thank you. Now, I noticed you have Distinguished Professor as your title, how does that happen?


Margaret Burnett: Well, it’s quite an honour and I just received it this last spring so I’m still just immensely delighted about the whole thing. The university passes this honour out to 2 professors per year so I got it this last spring. The criteria have to do with the quality and the reputation of your research and your teaching and mentoring and whether you’ve really made a difference in some way. I have some awards on some of those fronts and a long history I guess that … A really long history. Anyway, so I won.


An Coppens: Fantastic, it’s a great honour to have you so shortly afterwards, we’re not just talking to a professor but a distinguished professor. I love that and congratulations also.


Margaret Burnett: Thank you.


An Coppens: Now, the reason that I came across you and the research you have done is because as my listeners and readers know is we work a lot on the feminine view of gamification and I look for research that’s been done in that field. When I came across GenderMag, I got really excited, I said, “I want to know what this is, how does this happen, how did this come about?” First of all, what is GenderMag?


Margaret Burnett: GenderMag is a method. It’s a process for software developers or UX people or anybody really with some say into how software is turning out. Anyway, they can use this method to spot aspects of their software—the software itself—that might not be as gender inclusive as they liked. GenderMag stands for Gender Inclusiveness Magnifier, so that’s what it’s all about.


An Coppens: Fantastic. How did it come about initially, is there a background story to it?


Margaret Burnett: Yes, there is, there’s quite a background story. It all started with my PhD student, Laura Beckwith who was seeking a PhD topic to work on in about 2002 or 2003. We came up together with the idea of possibly looking at how gender differences might come together with software itself. At that time, there was starting to be a fair amount of understanding in the academic community—not in industry yet—the academic community that there were gender differences that were starting to play out in the workforce and in higher education. But nobody had thought about software itself yet.


An Coppens: That’s really amazing that it actually is recognized first in the university world and then further down the line becomes of interest. I think a lot of businesses and software developers still are only starting to recognize this field.


Margaret Burnett: That’s right. Laura started reading from 5 different fields and in every case what she was trying to do is ask herself the question, “What does this tell me about software?” As you mentioned earlier, I do human aspects of software development, some of it end user programming and some of it professional programming but always the human aspects of it. At the time she was thinking about an end user programmer. So she had this end user programmer living in one part of her head, and she was reading foundational work from psychology and from education and from computer science education and from the academic study of marketing and communication and just everything she could get her hands on from the feminist literature. Every time she would run across some sort of well-established statistical gender difference, she would say, “Well, what does that say about software?”


Soon, we started concentrating on software in which the user is problem solving. It’s that aspect—that use of software—that we got interested in because that affects not only end user programmers but professional programmers or anybody who comes to the computer with a problem. For example, even an accountant that’s say for example trying to figure out their budget, they’re problem solving. That’s where our foundational literature applies.


An Coppens: I guess that would apply to a lot of enterprise software that people are using?


Margaret Burnett: Absolutely. Also decision support software, debugging tools, or any time the user has a problem that together with the computer, they’re trying to solve. It turns out that the other problem solving situation that’s all too common is that they didn’t actually bring a problem to the computer, they sat down thinking they were going to do something ordinary but the user interface is so obtuse they end up having to do a lot of problem solving just to figure out how to use it. That’s the other situation. Anyway, Laura spent her time investigating some of the hypotheses that dropped into her lap when she read this foundational literature from other fields.


What she was trying to do then is say, “Well, do these things apply to computer usage by males and females?” She found over and over again that indeed these foundational things did apply. She did many studies, did some prototype building and evaluated those empirically and found the same thing over and over again. By the time she graduated, other people were starting to do that kind of thing too and so these same findings have been expanded upon and empirically established by a lot of other people. Anyway, we spent years just establishing those foundations. Then about 3 or 4 years ago, somebody from industry found me on the web and he wrote me and he said, “We have this terrible problem. I found you on the web because of your gender research so I hope you can help me.


Here’s the problem, we write software for a particular branch of the medical profession that happens to be mostly female.” I think he said something like, “80% of the practitioners in this branch of medicine are female.” He says, “Females tend to hate our software so we’ve got a big problem because that’s who we’re marketing to and we don’t know what to change, we don’t know what to do about it. So please help.” That’s when I realized we didn’t have anything to give him except a bunch of research papers. That’s when I realized we needed a practical method that would distil the essence of those findings into a practical form that ordinary practitioners with no background in gender difference research could apply to their own situation. That’s how GenderMag was born.


An Coppens: Yes, it is this story I had come across. That is just such an amazing story because first of all, for someone to stand up and say, “Look, I’m not getting the main target audience to engage with my software.” That already takes courage. Then to then actually typically develop something that works and can engage them I think is absolutely fascinating. In research and in the work you did with the medical software, were there some key points in difference between men and women and how they go about problem solving in the first place and then how that impacts in the software that they use?


Margaret Burnett: I can’t answer that one as crisply as I’d like to because I didn’t end up doing a lot of background research with that company. Instead, what we did is we just brought the method, the very first iteration of it to them and they sat down with us and tried to use it based on what they knew. They did find some things that they understood immediately to be useful and made some changes. We also found many awkward and difficult to use aspects of the method so we started iterating on it as well. Both of us came away smarter.


An Coppens: and that’s the purpose of research and testing, right?


Margaret Burnett: That’s right. Since that time, we’ve iterated continually on the method and we’ve continued to work with various companies who are using it. For some of the teams I’ve worked with, I have quite a lot of information about their populations, and for some of them I have very little information. I guess one of the key points is every single software team that’s ever used GenderMag always finds some gender inclusiveness issue—every single one has always found something.


An Coppens: That’s amazing because I suppose as a female software user, I often and actually in my gamification business, I often get requests of new apps and different items for people. I’ve often given the feedback, “If you’re aiming at the ladies, this won’t work because we’d reject it, it’s not intuitive, it’s not this …” It was really interesting to see how that could work. When you present research findings around GenderMag and around human centred design that focuses on gender specific issues, how is that received?


I’ll frame the question or position the question a bit because I gave a presentation last year at the Gamification World Congress about gender differences for gamification design. It really rattled a lot of feathers and ruffled a lot of men in the audience. Some of them loved it and came up to me, “Yes, that’s absolutely what we think too.” Then I had really long debates with others as to why there is a difference or not a difference. The reception was very mixed and very much questions. Do you experience that or do you experience a different side?


Margaret Burnett: Well, it’s a journey. Part of it I guess is learning the right ways to talk about this. I have experienced that kind of reception, maybe less so than you because when I’ve made my presentations, it’s almost always started out as being aimed at a research audience so I’ve always shown the data. Then when I started giving it to broader audiences, I learned from that but still it had a strong data background to it and graphs and stuff. People, when they see that there’s empirical evidence, some of these objections go away. Since I’ve been presenting it, I don’t have problems with credibility, I don’t have problems with people saying, “I don’t believe it.”


There have of course been philosophical debates and I think I’ve gotten better at that too. At first … The whole attitude about gender differences, let me maybe explain that a little bit. First of all, everything that we’ve done of course is about problem solving, gender differences that pertain to problem solving in software. All of it really is about individual differences—so we can’t say that women are all one way and men are all the other way. It’s just a huge distribution of individual differences and there’s a fair amount of overlap between where a lot of the men are and where a lot of the women are. But there are also these long tails on both sides that have large fractions of males and females.


If somebody is only targeting where that overlap is then they’re missing almost half of the population, both males and females. What happens more often is probably because so many software developers are themselves male, they’re targeting where most of them (males) are, which tends to be some of the overlap, not all of it and then way over on the male side of the tail. There too you’re eliminating almost half the population but much of that half you’re eliminating are female. That’s where this lack of gender inclusiveness comes in. It isn’t because females are all alike or males are all alike—it’s because of the portion of the wide distribution that’s been addressed in the past by software.


Once I explain it that way, people start to understand that I’m not stereotyping, binning people into gender buckets but instead just saying, disproportionately, here’s the side of the distribution that you’re eliminating. There are a lot of females over there and a reasonable number of men too but more women. There’s a branch of feminism that embraces diversity and says, “Hey, we know there are individual differences and we know that the distributions don’t entirely overlap. Our missions as feminists under that branch of feminism is to embrace diversity and support all of it.”


That’s the kind of feminism this is. There are other branches of feminism that take the stance that there absolutely are no gender differences. Those people are sometimes offended by this. When they understand the data and the distributions, typically, they aren’t any more but they could be at the beginning. Anyway so my presentations have evolved to try to make crystal clear that this is just absolutely not about binning people by gender.


An Coppens: Good, I’ll have to learn that technique as well. I don’t think it has offended but I make the same excuse, I give the health warning that there are men on the feminine spectrum, there are women on the masculine spectrum. I try to explain that but when you have a 10 or a 15 minutes launch at a big event, that fell into some gap. I say that to people, I say, “Well look, there are some men that have a very feminine way of working, there are some women that have a very masculine way of working.” It’s about I suppose, like you say, it’s how the distribution on the various data graphs, which end of the spectrum are you covering the most of? Yes, I agree, I think it’s great to see the differences.


Now, you developed a number of personas in the GenderMag method. How do they help and what do they bring to the process?


Margaret Burnett: We have 4 personas. Abby is one of them … Her most recent version has 4 pictures, there’s the main Abby, and there are 2 other female Abby pictures that are different ages, different ethnic groups, and there’s also a male picture who we would call Abe. The idea there is we’re trying to communicate even at the very beginning that Abby could look like any of those pictures. Anyway, then we have a Tim and we have 2 Pats who are identical twins. Tim has 3 pictures of a male and a female and the Pats are equal.


Anyway, these personas are developed to be the sort the developers would find usable and useful. Sometimes developers don’t like personas because some of them feel that personas are too mushy or they don’t quite understand what pieces of a persona to bring.


What we did is we made sure that each persona fits on exactly one piece of paper and has bullets and bold face so that the developers can see exactly what they’re supposed to focus on. Each of these personas is based on 5 facets that came from the foundational research that has to do with problem solving. One of the facets is the personas’ motivations for sitting in the chair in the first place. Are they there using that software because they love using software or technology or maybe that type of technology or are they there because there are some particular thing they’re trying to get done? That has multiple values, you could be somewhere in the middle, it could be situation dependent, you could be more on one side or the other.


For motivations, Abby is there to get to get something done and Tim is there because he loves technology and the Pats are somewhere in the middle. That’s one of the 5 facets that actually has strong impacts on how somebody’s going to go about a problem.


Another facet is information processing style. If you run into a problem, a lot of times what you feel you need more information and this is where information processing style comes up. One style is to be extremely iterative and this is a style that Tim embraces. What Tim will do is he’ll gather a tiny little bit of information relevant to the process and then he’ll try to act upon it knowing that he might be wrong.


He might take one more little action and then he may feel that he needs some more information or he may realize that it’s a mistake and back track and then gather a little more and proceed in this tightly iterative style. That’s called “selective information processing”. Then the other style that we cover is called comprehensive information processing. That one is much more bursty and  so it looks like this: gather, gather, gather, do, do, do then maybe gather, gather, gather some more. It’s in bigger batches. So both styles have advantages and disadvantages. The iterative style is characterized by more mistakes and somebody might forget to fix them so those mistakes might stay in there. The comprehensive style is heavier on memory and so the memory load is a disadvantage there.


As you can see, they’re equal but from a statistical perspective, females are more likely to be on the comprehensive side and males are more likely to be on the selective side. Well, when you look at software, typically the side that gets supported is just the iterative side: you get a tiny little bit of information then you’re in an opportunity to act upon it, you might get immediate feedback about that action, you might do a tiny little bit more and so typically, the [inaudible 00:22:56] that are available for this sort of thing with arrows and backwards colouring and that sort of thing, these are all developed for iterative processors.


An Coppens: Does that have an impact then on the outcome of the number of problems solved or are those actually the same?


Margaret Burnett: Yes. It has a big impact because if you are, say, a comprehensive information processor but the software is not supporting that style, then you’re probably really frustrated and this frustration is interfering with your ability to focus on the problem. You might be perfectly capable of adapting yourself to that other style but it’s not your best style. Why should somebody move to a style that they’re not as good at just because the software thinks they should? What we believe is that software should support either of these styles so that it doesn’t matter what your style is, you can find a way to get the information you need in the size of chunk you need it in.


That’s the problem that GenderMag helps developers find: “Look, <users> can’t do comprehensive processing on this.” Once you find that, then often times a solution starts to suggest itself in your mind because you’re thinking, “Well, then how can we allow people to do comprehensive processing if they want to? We could allow them to pin the tools tips so they could have more than one on the screen at the same time.” This is just a matter of taking down a barrier, not a matter of somehow trading off 2 styles against each other. Some of these [crosstalk 00:24:54] fixes are very easy to do.


An Coppens: Yes, because I’m thinking of gamification design, what I work on a lot is that on-boarding into apps and on-boarding into an experience. It definitely makes sense to me from that perspective so it’s interesting to see how that actually played out in terms of research so that’s amazing. That’s 2 facets, do you want to run through more of the different aspects of the differences or there are 3 others to look at them.


Margaret Burnett: I’ll just list the other 3. There are of course more than 5 facets in the literature but what we did was chose a big 5 because we wanted the method to be practical. We felt like people using the method can’t really deal with more than 5 while at the same time they’re trying to evaluate software. The other 3 that we selected because they were so well established are learning style, when you’re trying to learn new features or new technology ranging from tinkering to a more process oriented learning style. Computer self-efficacy, your confidence about how well you are able to deal with technology problems if they should arise, that has a big impact on your problem solving style and your ability. Finally, there’s risk aversion: if you feel that there’s some risk, do you like risk or do you tend to shy away from it? Those are the other 3 facets.


An Coppens: Yes and they all make sense in my mind, they make pure sense from some of the experiences] I’ve had but also from what I’ve seen in software world or what worked and what hasn’t worked. It’s interesting to see them come back in the research and if I use the persona material I already get an idea of how that would work. You’ve also developed a GenderMag cognitive walkthrough, how would people have to look at that or understand that because the personas in gamification design, I think most well instructed individuals will already take on board that personas are a necessity because gamification focuses a lot on user centric design and developing a user profile. Adding the persona into the process I think a lot of people in gamification will probably tend to do quite easily. How does that transfer to the cognitive walkthrough?


Margaret Burnett: The persona helps the cognitive walkthrough go well and the cognitive walkthrough helps make sure people are processing the persona thoroughly. The 2 go hand in hand. The way it works (for those who don’t know what a cognitive walkthrough) is, you bring a scenario or a use case to your software and then you walk through with some user you’re imagining clicking or dragging or doing the thing that you’re imagining in that use case, and you answer particular questions about it. For our cognitive walkthrough, you do it with the persona in front of you. Let’s say you’ve chosen to do this from Abby’s perspective. You’ve chosen Abby and Abby is sitting in front of you and you say, “Okay, we’re imagining that the first thing somebody is going to do is log in and to do that they have to click on this thing.”


Then there’s a question that says, “Will Abby know what to do here?” You answer this question and you have to refer back to Abby and suggest certain facets like her computer self-efficacy or her motivations or whatever that might be particularly relevant. You answer, everybody in the room answers yes, no or maybe. At this point, you don’t have to agree because GenderMag is all about diversity. Diversity of opinions is welcome as well. Some people might say, “Yeah, sure, look at that, it’s bright red, how could she miss it?” Someone else might say, “Wait, what it says is donate your firstborn child and log in, I don’t think Abby is going to do that because she’s risk averse.” Obviously that’s a only one example.


You record all opinions and the facets that arose and then we force Abby to click on that and we see the next screen and it says, “Does Abby know that she’s making progress toward her goal?” Once again you answer those questions and then you move on to the next step. Those 2 are part of a standard cognitive walk through, but we refined them so that they refer constantly back to the persona you’ve chosen. You could instead do the whole thing through Tim’s eyes and then you’d be finding gender inclusiveness issues that apply to Tim as opposed to Abby, and sometimes you’ll find those too. Anyway, so that’s what you do. It’s just a walk through with those personas working hand in hand.


An Coppens: Exactly because that’s where I see the value in it also when you’re designing and before you go into development, it’s good to have a persona in mind. Then to afterwards test it once you have developed because you might have originally told something true in your design that was absolutely amazing and then when it comes out in development you say, “Right, that doesn’t really work.” I think it’s great to combine the 2 for sure. When I have an app or a software that I would redesign, what would be your top tips to engage on one side the ladies and I’m going to add on the other side the gents or should we even that discussion?


Margaret Burnett: It’s a great discussion. I think the first tip, and this won’t come as a surprise to anybody in the software industry, is evaluate early and continuously. If you have something that’s still at the design mark-up stage and you evaluate it and you find that 80% of the features you evaluated had gender inclusiveness issues, that’s actually good news because you didn’t spend a dime implementing it and you can go back to the drawing board early. That’s the 1st tip. The 2nd tip is that I think that GenderMag is a really good thing to do but not the only good thing to do. It’s good because it’s theory based. If you use it to find something, you often know why you found it because the facet is what helped you find it. You say, “It’s all about risk averseness so what we need to do is make this …” Give a more accurate picture of the amount of risk actually entailed, so that users better know what to do.


Another good thing about GenderMag is it makes it easy to order up a user with exactly the facets you want to think about. On the other hand, any inspection method like this, because it doesn’t have a real user sitting there, is always subject to the evaluation skills of the people sitting the room. They may not actually be right what Abby might do or might not do. So, it’s good to also do empirical studies with real users, both males and females. By having these 2 together, you start to understand the validity and how widespread various problems are that you’ve identified with one thing or the other.


A lot of times when people gather users for the empirical stuff, they neglect the women because they’re hard to find for some kinds of software. This of course is going to give you a very biased view of how users view your software. In fact, one conversation I had, somebody was working on a debugging tool I think it was and they brought in 5 users and I said, “Well, how many were female?” The response was, “Well only 1 because they’re really hard to find.” He had been telling me about how so many of these users had asked for a certain feature. I said, “Did she ask for that feature?” He said, “Well no she didn’t but …” Here’s the key point, he said, “But you can’t really generalize from her because there’s only one of her.” Basically what he’s saying is, “We will pay attention to our female users only if they agree with the males.”


An Coppens: Right, because that’s exactly the bias that we do need to overcome in some way. It’s actually totally congruent with one of the tips I gave last year is to actually have different sets of user test groups. Have a mixed group, have an all male and all female group. In some cultures, because I do a lot of work around the Middle East, in some of those cultures, you do need to have women together with women and a female facilitator to get the best answers. When in a situation where there’s a male facilitator or a mixed group, they may not actually share anything. I made that example very clear that there’s gender, there’s culture, there’s a lot of social facets to actually take on board.


It’s fun to see that it’s construe as one of your tips too. It’s great that we’re aligned on that one. Is there any research or do you have views on how games may apply some of your knowledge or some of these processes? What I see in games and in gamification is that they’re often very competitive and very I suppose male driven. Are those findings similar to what’s there in the software industry at large or is that maybe just more game specific?


Margaret Burnett: It’s a good question. I think that nowadays since they’re gamifying so many things, things that happen in games tend to start to reach over into other kinds of software as well. I don’t have any findings on games and gamification itself yet, because we’ve only been doing field studies with real-world software teams for about a year and a half. My findings continue to just emerge. I would love to find out how well it works with games and gamification because on the one hand, games and gamification are all about problem solving which seems to make it a perfect setting for GenderMag but on the other hand, part of GenderMag is about facilitating people’s problem solving styles in a way that makes it easier for them to solve the problems. But games aren’t fun if they’re too easy.


There’s a kind of tension that makes it a very interesting setting to try to investigate and see how well GenderMag does, but one thing I can say is for the user interface around the game, the part that’s not supposed to be fun, it’s just supposed to be there. There of course GenderMag would completely apply. But for the games themselves, I’m just as curious as you are about that.


An Coppens: Great. I definitely would love to do some more developing and researching in this area to see what can transfer because as you say, most gamification tools are a problem solving tool in some sorts to get somebody to do something a certain way. Often enterprise applications, you probably have already some research on. That leads me nicely into my final question, where can people find out about your research, where can people get the methods or GenderMag so that they can make sure all of our software has become better and that both games and gamification take this on board as well?


Margaret Burnett: Yes. GenderMag is freely downloadable from my webpage


Margaret Burnett: Very good, okay. Anyway, freely downloadable. We continue to iterate and update and understand how well GenderMag is working for various people. So if somebody does download it, they might want to check back in a couple of months and get a newer version. If you use it and something good happen—and by you I’m talking to everybody who’s listening—I hope you’ll let me know. Or even if something bad happens as a result of using it, I hope you’ll let me know because it’s active research for us. We’re trying to learn everything that we can about it.


An Coppens: Fantastic. What’s the best way to do that, just reach out to you on the same link as the website?


Margaret Burnett: Yes, my email address is on my website and so you can get back to us that way.


An Coppens: Super. That is amazing so thank you so much Margaret, I really appreciate all the knowledge you’ve shared. I found it extremely interesting and enlightening in a lot of ways to hear what it is how it works. I’m very sure that the people listening in will think the same as well.


Margaret Burnett: Thank you so much for contacting me, it’s been a pleasure …




The post Feminine Gamification Viewpoint: Interview with Margaret Burnett appeared first on Gamification Nation.

Feminine gamification viewpoint: Interview with Margaret Burnett Podcast 8: Where to find inspiration for gamification? In a question of gamification this week we are honoured to have the company of Margaret Burnett distinguished professor in Computer ... Feminine gamification viewpoint: Interview with Margaret Burnett Podcast 8: Where to find inspiration for gamification? In a question of gamification this week we are honoured to have the company of Margaret Burnett distinguished professor in Computer Science at Oregon State University. She has carried out... Gamification Nation 37:04
Podcast 25: What does inclusive by design really mean? Tue, 10 Sep 2019 08:00:45 +0000 0 <p>Welcome to a question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m your show host and the chief game changer and CEO at Gamification Nation. And this is the second installment in our series inclusive by design. When it comes to inclusion, the big question...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Podcast 25: What does inclusive by design really mean?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Gamification Nation</a>.</p> Welcome to a question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m your show host and the chief game changer and CEO at Gamification Nation. And this is the second installment in our series inclusive by design. When it comes to inclusion, the big question is, how do I know I am being inclusive? How do I know I’m not excluding certain people by being inclusive to other people, et cetera. And you know, what is inclusion in the first place? And I guess it starts with diversity as a spectrum in my view. So the first thing to notice is, for me, inclusion is about culture, is about abilities, it’s about gender, it’s about age. It may be other choices that are more lifestyle related, but for most businesses, it comes to creating an environment where everybody has the opportunity to succeed, to their level of ability, their level of wish, desire.

So I guess it’s, in some sense, slightly philosophical in other ways. There’s also very practical things to think about. But first of all, let’s talk about four areas, of what I would see key, in workplace kind of workplace focus, diversity or work, workplace focused inclusion. And they are a culture, first of all. So culture can be the company culture, but it can also be the country culture. It can be the melting pot of nationalities, cultures that are working for you. And if you’re a global organisation, it may be the interrelationship between all of those suppliers, providers, the head office, the local office. And if you are, let’s say a national organisation, it can be head office and local office. It can be regional differences. And I think, you know, we all have some sort of culture that we reflect and you know, whether that’s a good or a bad one that remains to be seen.

But from an inclusion perspective, I would say look at it as a spectrum. Some of us have a global vision and want to make the world or workplace others have a very clear national vision. No, I’m only focused on, you know, this region. Therefore, the people that interact with my clients would need to either support this region as a near native or be a near native. So, you know, so those are the kinds of typical questions that you would ask there. And then a local business may mean you need local knowledge. I mean, just think about it. If we look at a, let’s say you’re a local taxi driver, you want them to know the local area to get you to your destination as fast as possible. Of course they can be using great apps, I give them the best routes, et cetera. But once the GPS doesn’t work or it gets it wrong, you don’t want them to be stuck and you know, clocking up a massive big bill.

You also want to be able to communicate with them. So in a national context, you could have a scenario where people need to know and we know have been guilty of that in some countries. I visit and speak a lot in many areas. And, you know, at one point I was trying to go by train from one place to another and the person at the rail car desk said, no, you can’t do that miss, because geographically that’s not possible. And I sort of went, oh, oops, I didn’t realize that which he grabbed the, the map where she said, oh here miss, there’s a, here’s the map of the rail network and you can check for yourself. And you know, I thought it was a very nice, respectful way of dealing with my lack of, uh, the national rail network knowledge. And that’s okay. You know, I, I was definitely in the wrong place.

And then if you have a global mindset, it might mean that you don’t limit yourself to just national or local markets. It may mean that you have a staff that’s also diverse and spread out all over the place. And that comes with its own, I suppose its own difficulties from time zones to language use to certain habits that are really acceptable in one culture, but maybe not so much in another. We’ve worked on a few projects around cultural acceptance and cultural inclusion, including a kind of a fun way of getting people, even within Europe to cooperate, together better and to, to create an awareness and understanding of what are the habits that are so different. What are the customs that you find so annoying in the other person or so great in the other person or the other nationality or culture. So there are things that we can learn from one another, but it is a spectrum.

So the spectrum from a cultural perspective goes from local to global and anywhere in between. And that’s your workforce, that’s where you’re based, that’s where your clients are, that’s where your suppliers are. So it’s an up and down any given moment of the day. You could be interacting with people from a very diverse range of cultures. And then the question is how respectful are you treating them? How much dignity do you give them? How many chances do you give them to be successful at what they need to be delivering? And you know, it’s a two way street. It’s not a one way traffic scenario. I mean we have a few collaborators in the Philippines and I, you know, I always tell them, look, if you don’t understand, just ask, just look for clarification. We had the same, we use the platform provider, uh, in India and they always said yes and then delivered something totally different.

And I, at one point I asked something little bit later and I said, you know, I want to do this. And he said No. And I said, wow, fantastic. Because it was the very first time that they had actually said, no, we don’t do that very well. We’re not even going to try. And to me that was really distinctive of a learning curve. Instead of saying, yes, we can do everything. They had narrowed down their scope, they have narrowed down their focus and actually could deliver a great service but in a very narrow niche. And that’s okay. I think that’s pretty amazing when you can do that. So culturally be aware of the differences and notice that there is a spectrum. When it comes to ability I would say it’s again a spectrum. It goes from full ability. So your, you know, fully able to do everything which you know, the skills that you’ve been born with, uh, with your physical abilities, with your mental abilities.

And you know, even there abilities will vary even if you have full access to all five senses. And I say that because not everyone’s, let’s say a science wiz is not everyone’s a language wiz, not everyone’s a mathematician, a statistician. We all have different abilities and different speeds, which we comprehend and learn new skills. So our abilities will vary from the start. And some of us continue to vary and work on our progress, learn a lot. Others will be very stuck in their own little ways and you know, say, well no, this is my Max and I’m not going over it. And you know, there is a definite diversity across the spectrum of abilities. Then you have people of mixed abilities so they can be great at one, one aspects of mentally fantastic but maybe physically not fully able to move. And then you may have people with limited abilities.

And for example, vision, if you’re blind, for example, touch, if you have, disabilities that affect your hands, your arms, your legs, your feet, you know. So again, there is limitations. That doesn’t mean that they’re disabled and don’t function. In fact, I know a lot of disabled people or our class with, you know, officially being disabled who are, for example in a wheelchair or you know, have various physical things that don’t function optimally. Uh, but yet their brain is just as bright as the next person. We see in the tech world a lot of people hiring specific people with autism and aspergers and various other very specific abilities to work as engineers and coders. So I think from a workplace perspective we could all do more. We can all accept that, you know what, there are things that we do, but from a design perspective there is many things we can do to be more inclusive.

So I mean, ability as a spectrum, I range it from full to mixed to limited. And that’s from skills to physical, mental and ability to learn. So ability to me is kind of core for every workplace, whether we like it or not. And I think we don’t need to make disabled people, the scapegoats. I mean they can actually do an awful lot of great stuff for us as well. And you know, my vision on that came about through having a blind person and a person in a wheelchair in a workshop way back when, even before I was in gamification and the lady in the wheelchair said to me, well actually I have different abilities. I’m not disabled. I am abled in other things. And I thought it was such a nice way of putting it. And I actually try where possible not to use the word disabled because it does a dis justice or injustice.

And I think, you know, disability come in so many shapes and forms. And I think, you know, if as a wish, I wish that we would be more respectful and more accepting. Now, there are many people that can contribute to our society in many ways and that it’s up to us as employers, as entrepreneurs, to sort of look for ways of how can we be inclusive, how can we give their ability a chance and there may well be a role for them within your organisation. So you know, when it comes to a design, I did a presentation recently where I demonstrated, I asked for someone to pick up a note in the local currency and I asked her first look, pick it up, just pick it up. And she picked it up with her hand and no problem. Of course it was a very flimsy little note.

And then I said, now put your hand in your shirt and try and pick it up with that particular hand. And she managed, but it was harder. So that’s already showed. Uh, you know, when we limit our abilities, then you know, there’s different things we need to do. And now, then I said, well now imagine you have no hands. And she thankfully did what I had hoped. She went and picked up the note with her, with her teeth, you know, there was a big sigh of disgust that rippled through the audience. And I thought it was fascinating because in effect she was working with the means that she had. Now I know money is not always the cleanest, but there are people that actually have to do that because trying to pick it up with their hands or no hands is nigh on impossible. And yet we produce games and gamification designs that require money, like monopoly money, and we try to untangle monopoly money when it’s got a bit sticky, you know, and for, I’ve seen my niece in action who has muscular dystrophy, so she has some muscle groups that work well, some muscle groups that don’t work so well and sometimes handling the money is not the kind of thing that comes easy to her.

So, you know, it’s through observing and it’s true noticing like, hmm, have we actually created something that excludes people. So putting those able bodied people at a checkout where you have to handle money, we’d be tortured and obviously you wouldn’t do that. So, you know, we turn in our other designs, we try and be more inclusive in that. So it’s about noticing the spectrum. Uh, the same with gender. And you know, I gave a talk a while back around the differences in gender from a design perspective. And I started my talk by saying I see gender as a spectrum. Some women can behave in very masculine ways, some men can behave in very feminine ways and in any given situation, some of us move in and out of our comfort zone on that spectrum. I know some men that are way more feminine than I’ll ever be.

I know some women that are way more masculine than any men I know. So, you know, it’s a choice on how we show up. But it’s also how we’ve been brought up. It’s very, very much a something we have as a learned behavior because, there have been studies to say that gender, in fact, we are born gender neutral, yet by age four through socialisation, we learn what’s feminine and what’s masculine and what boys do and what girls do. And that’s very much copying what we see all around us, what people tell us, what movies tell us, what media tells us. So it’s great to see that there are epic stories coming out, from the Disneys of this world and other, child friendly providers who are harrowing both sides and you know, making things more spectrum relatable rather than the girl that needs to be rescued or the princess that’s in the ivory tower and you know, has the need of a hero, which again, it’s a story frame.

It’s, it’s something that could work. But if that’s what you work, that’s also how you’re putting women at a disadvantage or the feminine soul’s at a disadvantage. And that can be, you know, your more feminine men than as well. So in gender, I sort of describe the spectrum going from feminine to masculine and passing through neutral. And you know, gender neutral is now a thing. And you know, some sports people have major ideals with that, that there may be a need for a neutral league where under our talks of that people that are gender neutral that actually carry genes from both the male and female spectrum may need to compete separately. So rather than just make a choice and that’s it to keep, I suppose competition equal. So there is many implications with that. So, the spectrum is for gender for me is feminine, neutral, masculine, and in age the spectrum is old, young, and age agnostic.

So you know, going from old to age agnostic to young sort of made up of the, the neutral form. Now there are eight year olds, um, can relate to 15 year old like no. Tomorrow. There are 15 year olds that sound like an eighty year old and you know, and anything in between. So age, again, it’s relative, but from a design perspective, again, it’s something we need to be mindful of aware of. With age comes a range of abilities that may change, from metabolic processes to the way we assimilate, the way we learn things may be different and we may have a different world view, but we also from a game design perspective have different expectations and again, that changes over time. So, my view is that diversity and inclusion should be looked at from the perspective of it being a spectrum and that at any given point in time you move across that spectrum for all things you do in work.

Whether you’re good on a good day, you could be on the top of the spectrum for everything. On a bad day you may be middling or even on the lower end and it will change over time. It will change by situations. So I would see we’re not dead set in one side or the other. I think we actually can move on, and should aim to move and flex across the spectrum and try and flex the majority of our spectrums to be as large as possible from a design perspective so that we can be inclusive. So, in my framework I say, there’s four steps to inclusion, culture, ability, gender and age. And then the aim is to aim for 100% inclusion. Now aim for not design 100% inclusion cause aim for may just be the best you can do in some situations. And in that case there may need to be adaptations.

So it’s good to look at a definition. And I went to look for the definition from another source in mind. It’s the British Standards Institute in 2005 came up with a definition of inclusive design and they name it the design of mainstream products and services that are accessible to and usable by as many people as reasonably possible without the need for special adaptation or specialized design. So there’s a couple of keywords in that accessible to and usable by as many people as reasonably possible. So there’s reasonably possible in there, there is accessible and usable. I mean these are the products we use every day from a phone to let’s say computer to a bus to a train, to anything around the house in the home. And you know, if once you’ve lived and experienced or worked with people with different levels of abilities, different cultures, you’ll notice that, you know, sometimes in some places toilets are different, some needed b-day, some don’t need a b-day, some have a hole in the ground, some have a seater, you know, some people with different abilities, may need an extra piece of equipment to make sure, that they can comfortably make it on and off the seats.

So there is many things to look up. But I liked that definition because it kind of sets the tone. Now, in they have handbooks and everything. So I urge you if you really want to go down the line of product designing, et Cetera, it’s is looking at inclusive, the inclusive design handbook, I believe it is by the British Standard Institute. Now they also said, okay, how prevalent is the part of society that we may actually end up excluding? And they looked at a very logical workplace tool, which was everything to do with Microsoft. And they said they questioned people with a Microsoft project in or products in the workplace. And that’s a study from 2003 so it’s a little bit dated but still it’s indicative, I think, and Microsoft product have improved since as well, I would say in terms of user friendliness.

But 21% of people reported no difficulties in using the tools, 16% minimal difficulties, 37% mild difficulties and 25% severe difficulties. So if we apply that British Institute definition to this, then we should really be aiming the maximal use of these products to be for let’s say the bottom 75% the ones with no difficulties, minimal difficulty, small difficulties. And we aim to take a bit of the severe difficulties back by doing user tests, by improving and iterating the product design to be more inclusive so that we can extend our inclusive design to a larger and larger proportion of society. And yet not modifying, let’s say it for their use and you know, and some things may just need to come modified. So charities like special effects in the UK, they modify game console equipments and allow children with major disabilities and often a diseases too, to play and to be part of an online game world because sometimes the console needs to be controlled with their eyes, sometimes with their mouth or with their feet.

So the standard consoles and you know, gearboxes and you know, pointers, clickers, et Cetera, may not function for them so they need other ways of doing it. And what’s Special Effect did is that they then adapt and aim for that specialist target audience. So inclusive by design and you know, if you look at it from a gamification perspective, then has to, you know, sort of demands a couple of very deep understandings. In my view, it’s a solid understanding of the intention the user has. What, why are they using your tools? Why are they using what you’re created and their player’s style, their personal motivations, as in how do they play, what’s their style? Are they, uh, jump in, explore and do it all? Or do they want instruction and then play? So you find out how they’re personally driven to succeed.

Then you obviously need to understand their, their ability, their also their access. I mean from a gamification design perspective, we often ask the question, how do you access whatever service or product that we’re working on. We worked with one charity for example, where users, we were asked to create something 3D and yet most people were accessing their information via mobile devices. And at that point 3D was not, nearly impossible on mobile devices. And to a large extent it still is. And we therefore said, look, you know 3D was nice. I think 2D would be much better and much more accessible. So you, we did a design in 2D as a result of user research. What knowledge do they have? And again that came out clearly in a design we did recently for an organisation want to recruit students and you know, encourage students to apply for roles that they may not have considered.

But it was sort of teasing them to see where they have the right kind of mindsets and the right kind of resourcefulness to test could potentially be a great engineer, was knowing that they had no engineering knowledge yet. So that was an interesting one. So we assume no knowledge, yet we do want interest and testing of how resourceful are they, are they good at problem solving? Do they take well to puzzling, you know, so there were a few things, but that was the kind of, I suppose, design constraint and design challenge that we were working, which was good and interesting. You also want to know their attitude towards risk and their willingness to explore and tinker. Now, the attitude towards risk in some cultures, risk is just not a good thing. You should know what you’re doing and only take this step, when you’re sure.

And I see a lot in terms of leadership that the higher up the ranks you go, in terms of experience, in terms of age, but also in terms of numbers of people that you need to lead, the attitude towards risk becomes different and often smaller because they don’t want to lose face in front of their people. So you need to make it safe for those people to explore what you may need a different setup than for example, a young person straight out of college who is still testing and you know, in a lot of cases still exploring how good are they or what are they good at even. And you know, from a gender perspective, there’s actually studies that would say the attitude towards risk is different in cultures. The work from Hofstader which give you quite a few perspectives around risk and exploration, but also how people may be held back in certain circumstances, et cetera.

From the gender perspective, I would recommend looking up the Gender Mag research for those of you who like finding out more research who have really amazingly contributed. You could also look up the interview I did way back with Margaret Burnett who was key and instrumental in this research. So from my perspective, I think, you know, user research should be a core part of all of your designs. If you are designing for diversity or inclusion and you want of course, testers from the different backgrounds that you’re aiming for. You want feedback from the different segments of the society that you’re aiming for. And you want to also see them play because a lot of the time what people answer in surveys or in interviews was they’re qualitatively and quantitatively important for you to get trends and to get, uh, to get something juicy to work with.

Observing also gives you very clear indicators as to what’s working, what are they taking to, where are they getting stuck? So I would say combine qualitative, quantitative with observation and then data, data analysis and, you have a very solid base to, to design from. So I would say it’s, it’s a combination of all too. So I hope that that enhances your spectrum. I hope that sort of broadens out, what your perspective is when it comes to inclusion. So thank you for listening to a question of gamification and do like us. Do give us a good rating and do send us your questions, especially around inclusion and designing for inclusion cause we’d love to talk about it. So thank you very much for tuning in.

The post Podcast 25: What does inclusive by design really mean? appeared first on Gamification Nation.

Welcome to a question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m your show host and the chief game changer and CEO at Gamification Nation. And this is the second installment in our series inclusive by design. When it comes to inclusion, Welcome to a question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m your show host and the chief game changer and CEO at Gamification Nation. And this is the second installment in our series inclusive by design. When it comes to inclusion, the big question... Gamification Nation 27:44
Podcast 24: Inclusive by design series – inclusion is an attitude Tue, 03 Sep 2019 07:50:39 +0000 0 <p>Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. This week I want to start a bit of a series around inclusion and design. In fact, I want to name it inclusive by design, because it’s scenario that we basically focus on quite a bit. And actually...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Podcast 24: Inclusive by design series – inclusion is an attitude</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Gamification Nation</a>.</p> Welcome to this week’s question of gamification.

This week I want to start a bit of a series around inclusion and design. In fact, I want to name it inclusive by design, because it’s scenario that we basically focus on quite a bit. And actually I as a woman in the gamification space specifically wanted to join the gamification space to make it more inclusive, because when I looked at the industry of gamification back in the mid 2000s, I saw a lot of young white men and the odd Asian man and they didn’t necessarily relate to me. They didn’t necessarily speak my language. And some of the designs that I saw also didn’t quite appeal to me. At first I said, “Oh, this is maybe just me personally. Maybe it’s just not my thing.” But then I asked around.

I also went looking for research and actually found that a lot of the time it was very one track focused, very much focused on their experience of life, their experience of the world and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just not 100% inclusive because you’re only coming with one worldview. Just like if I design something just by myself, it would only have my own worldview in it. So that was not an indication of their masculinity or anything else.

But I also felt that we were missing a trick. And actually I was really quite passionate about it. We were missing a trick in a sense that gamification was becoming this big buzzword, especially in the corporate learning space, and it wasn’t actually working. And I could see clearly why because it wasn’t appealing. It was a lot of the time, very competitive. It was a lot of the time, very superficial. And I went, “No, there’s more to this.” I knew from my work up to that point where I had been using games, gamification and game elements for all sorts of things throughout change management, throughout leadership throughout training, I knew it worked and I said, “No, no, there has to be another way. There has to be a way that we can be inclusive by design, but we need to change our approach.” So basically I wanted to bring that voice and bring that perspective of let’s be inclusive by design.

Now, just recently I gave a keynote speech at an event, pretty much focused around people in the academic world. And I have to say I was personally challenged a little bit from a confidence perspective I think as well to say that, “Look, I’m not a scientist. I’m a field worker. I’m a practitioner. I work with my clients to the best of my ability.” I read a lot of research and I do my best to integrate what people find in it insofar that I can understand it because I also admit some of the scientific papers out there on games, gamification, diversity, inclusion, differences between age, culture, gender, abilities, some of them are seriously hard to make sense of if they’re written for scientific purposes. So anything I can read, I will and anything I can’t read, I will have to [inaudible 00:02:58] just purely out of practical reasons.

What occurred to me is that when we talk about inclusion and diversity or inclusion by design better, it is in fact a conscious action. It is first and foremost an attitude because we all have our preferences. We all have maybe things we get a bit fearful about that make us feel threatened. Just like the academics made me feel threatened like, “Oh gosh, what can I possibly offer? I’m merely a mere mortal living in the world of the corporate sector doing my business the best I can.” But you know what? I haven’t written a paper about it. I haven’t actually proven my theory left right and center. If somebody wants to take on my theory and prove it, absolutely love it. Do talk to me.

That bias in my head even was preventing me from delivering the best possible talk. So from an inclusive by design perspective, I also needed to make sure that I could not only engage to myself to the best of my ability, but also deliver something that was, I suppose, interesting enough for the group to take something away from. As a speaker, I always adapt my talks to the audience. Not everybody in our field does that. And I would be a little bit critical of that. I mean we’re not one track ponies or we shouldn’t be.

If you have a framework, great. But it’s like a hammer is not the solution to every single problem. And sometimes your framework is not 100% most fitting one. And maybe a mashup of two frameworks works better in situations. So being open to that and being open to more than one worldview is important.

Actually somebody that caught me messaging something on Twitter that made me reflect, “Yeah, you’re absolutely right.” One of the things he used was a hashtag, “It takes all kinds.” And thank you for that by the way. You know who you are. I actually said to myself, “Yeah, you’re intimidated by all the facts, figures, science.” Because I was listening to another keynote speaker at the conference and this man probably had great science, but I couldn’t make any sense of anything he said, nor his slides. I picked up maybe two or three words that I could relate to, but in an hour long session that’s not enough. And to be fair, when I looked around the room, most people had disconnected.

So if you want to be inclusive by design, it’s also about the language we use. It’s about the interaction we use with people. You won’t always get everybody along, but it should at least be an attempt to bring the majority along in an inclusive approach at least. If you want to be excluding and sit in your own little portal, that’s also fine. But that’s your choice then. But it’s not mine though.

In this series, what I want to do is focus on what are the elements of inclusion. How can we design for it? A bit of my thinking about it, some of my frameworks that I sort of work with. And then what practically can you do to encourage inclusion by design.

My first big topic that I want to broach on this is inclusion is actually first an attitude. People say, “Oh yeah, we’re all for diversity. We’re all for inclusion.” But does your behavior reflect the same thing? Does your behavior actually actively encourage that? Because there may be subtle ways in which you are not being equal, in which you’re not being accepting.

So to me, if you look at conversation … So at the same event I spoke about the topic of inclusion as part of my presentation. And somebody came up to me afterwards. One of the examples I gave was something we worked on where we used a female lead … a black colored middle manager and white colors workers, both male and female. Now, I probably hadn’t given the whole perspective and the whole picture, but the person came up to me and said, “Well look, actually by putting a female lead in that situation and then manipulating people to believe that there is actually a role model for them, they felt that that was very feminist and very wrong.”

Now, when I then explained the full picture, I said, “Well, actually you’re the player. You could be from any of those backgrounds. We wanted to be inclusive in the reality of that particular world there are female leaders, there are black middle managers, there are white middle managers, white male, white female. There were also white lead commanders. So there’s white leaders.”

In some ways we were trying to be as inclusive as possible. And during the testing phase we did get feedback from a variety of groups. And the feedback loops are ongoing, the research on that is ongoing so it’s not a concluded finished product or item. But I found it fascinating because it also reflected on their personal bias, their perspective. And I think when you’re trying to come to a level of acceptance … And I have to say anytime I speak about inclusion, even if I don’t focus on just gender, I’m called a feminist whether I like it or not, it’s one of those things.

But it did show to me that actually was the person really behaving with an open mind or were they just trying to prove their worldview. Was that actually the full picture that they got? Because once they did get the full picture, they did actually say, “Oh yeah, okay, that’s fine.” And if it was just purely an exercise … If for example, my example was an exercise in tokenism, just use a token woman, a token colored person, a token disabled person. If that was the case, then obviously we would be alienating people and it wouldn’t hit and feel right to the target audience. But you have got to start somewhere when you want to be inclusive in the real world. And inclusive will take time. And sometimes out of merit, you may not be able to pick a fully team with elements of all of these various segments of society. Sometimes they’re just not available to you.

So there are reality constraints in any given world, in any given job. But when you want to be inclusion, be mindful of your perspective, so your own bias, because we all have one. Me, just like the next person. And also focus on your actions as opposed to what you say. And then when you come and say something, be respectful and respectfully patient. Sometimes silence is golden. Even if you think that, “Gosh, this is a whole load of … I’m struggling with this,” maybe silence sometimes is the better option. And if you really don’t think it is the better option, be respectful of the person and approach it from the perspective of, ‘Well, actually maybe we all have something to contribute,” because I actually believe we do.

I can learn from everyone around and you know, I hope they can learn a little bit from me even if it’s just a little bit even if it’s just to realize, well actually what she does is not what I do. And that’s okay. You know, they don’t have to like me. I would love it if they did, but you know, at least getting them somewhere along the track is important. Actually in the presentation I gave, I was looking for some good graphics too to present to the audience and one that I came, around with a signpost of rattlesnakes and the signpost reads, rattlesnakes may be found in this area. Give them distance and respect. And sometimes that’s exactly how you need to be in order to not let your personal buyers get the better of you when you’re dealing with a situation that you may or may not 100% agree with.

So I think respect is something really important. We don’t know where the other person is coming from. We don’t know their picture. We have not walked in their shoes. So we shouldn’t really be judging because they may have very valid reasons for why they say what they said. Uh, why they are thinking that this is an important topic. I think, you know, in the backdrop of today’s, world politics, you know, this message really is so, so important. What are we afraid of too? You know, when something is different, what are we afraid of? And you know, I’m afraid of snakes. So that rattlesnake scenario is like, yeah, I will give them distance. I will also respect that they are dangerous. So therefore we and me and them are not going to go be whole jolly together. So, you know, that’s a, that’s a given.

But when it comes to exploring different cultures, exploring what different age groups are, like exploring what people and how people experience the world when they’re different to me that I am open to. And sometimes, you know, I will, I will admit I’m not perfect. I sometimes may get it wrong and I sometimes may get totted and make it told off. That may actually by my very question, you know, I have put my two feet in or something, you know, so, so it’s a, it’s a very difficult topic to get 100% right. I think it should be a, you know, from an attitude perspective, a continuous work in progress in, in our company we are trying to be as inclusive as possible and you know, which is why my first hire was a male to balance out, my femaleness. And then we also have someone that’s of Asian origin.

I’m from, a female Belgian origin. We also have a refugee and the team is also European. And you know, I’m actively looking to bring new people in and you know, ideally I would like to find a new team member that’s a lady for that very reason. Now, you know, that would create a 50, 50 splits, in our team. And you know, it would then sort of confirm that we’re trying to do inclusive by design. It is, however, also driven by merit. They need to be able to do what we need to do and what we need them for. So it’s not just about anyone, any old lady can go in and get job over a guy. No, it’s more a case of, you know, let’s find the best suitable person. But I do have a very specific idea about balancing gender in the company for optimum results because that’s also, proven that actually a, a 50, 50 split is better for productivity.

So, you know, for me, the starting point for everything to do around inclusion, is that inclusion is first and foremost an attitude. And the attitude comes through in, in your open-mindedness, in your actions, in your biases, in your respect for others, and your respectfulness of differences, in your patience, with different level of abilities, with different levels of, worldviews with, you know, your own patience around, you know, why do I not understand this? Why do I not get this? And you know, it also is an attitude and an exercise in self esteem because I think a lot of what we see on a world scale at this stage is people being fearful of people that are in any form or shape different. And you know, it’s different. And then there’s a power fight. Who’s better, who’s bigger, who knows more, who can do this the best.

And for a lot of people that’s really important. And then for quite a whole bunch of others on the other side, that’s so totally a contest that we don’t want to be part of. So, you know, let’s keep it real and sort of say, well, actually, if you want to be inclusive by design, we look at our attitudes internally first and then when you’re encountering the other attitudes, then you know, let’s work with that. Let’s look at it as feedback and see, is there maybe another way to get to the solution? Is there another way to get to your destination because I actually believe there’s more than one way to do everything. And Yeah, you know, and, and maybe in the science world, that’s exactly what you don’t want to hear because you want that one scientific black and white piece of proof, that it has to be a certain way.

And you know, in business we often have to work around and sort of make do with the constraints that we have. And I think in the academic world too, you know, they have smaller budgets and most of us, will never even dream of getting, you know, so keep it real. So my top five things to be mindful of are respect, patience, your open-mindedness, and your actions and looking for the full picture. So those are my top five attitude tips to get into the picture when you are trying to be inclusive by design. I hope you will enjoy these short snippets around inclusion by design. I will be developing more on the same theme and share with you what you can do, and how any gamification setting that’s important and how in a workplace setting. In fact we probably as a global workplace need to be super mindful of that because quite frankly a lot of our politicians are not doing it right now.

So we might as business people maybe need to set the tone and change the direction and maybe as citizens of our countries the same thing because it is one thing to see it happening and tolerating it. And often toleration and not taking any action or not even stepping into a situation is that silence approval or that silence i gnorance and you know, I’m not advocating everybody should go out on the street and you know, demonstrate on every single thing, but where have you in the last number of months or I think months is probably enough of a time frame. Have you tolerated exclusion? Where have you tolerated active disrespect to somebody that look different was maybe a different age, different gender, a different culture, a different ability? Have you laughed at them? Have you not said anything, but so that injustices were taking place? I mean, that to me is also an attitude. How tolerant are you of people not being treated as equals or human beings with the same right to exist as others? So yeah, it may be naive. It may be a dream. It may be Utopian that we could all include everyone all of the time. But I think if we don’t, as an attitude, strive to take action towards it, I think we could end up in a very scary place. So I hope you enjoy the question of gamification. Do like us and, leave your comments and I look forward to sharing the next session.


The post Podcast 24: Inclusive by design series – inclusion is an attitude appeared first on Gamification Nation.

Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. This week I want to start a bit of a series around inclusion and design. In fact, I want to name it inclusive by design, because it’s scenario that we basically focus on quite a bit. And actually... Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. This week I want to start a bit of a series around inclusion and design. In fact, I want to name it inclusive by design, because it’s scenario that we basically focus on quite a bit. And actually... Gamification Nation 20:42