In every walk of life, there are recipes for success. From a tried and tested process to a number of steps, repeated over and over to hit the target. Understanding the process is the first thing and then implementing it consistently and finetuning it until it works for you. In gamification, learning design and game design this is the same.
In our business, we started by looking at the frameworks other people created and applied it to our business. Some worked and some we had to tweak so much, that they really didn’t make sense. And some frameworks, we just simply found too hard to implement and work with, so much so that it distracted from our core work. No surprise we dropped those.
Where we found our own methods working best, we created our 3 step design framework for gamification design (Objectives, Users, Play) and the 3 level learning gamification framework (content, system, proof). I am also formalising our employee engagement methodology, which will be published in the coming weeks on the blog first. I am working on a few online programs to bring all our tools to life for people wanting to explore them.
In business consulting, where I started my career, the first thing we always had to do was map the current process or ‘as is’ process and then turn this into an improved or ‘to be’ process. In gamification design, the process mapping techniques become useful to identify meaningful touchpoints on which you can implement either a game mechanic or game dynamic.
A/B testing comes from UX design, but it is something we use frequently, just like wireframing. From the world of learning design, we use storyboards to create solutions. From game design directly we use a high-level concept document and the game design document as well as asset registers if needed.
As our field develops, there may be more tools and frameworks that come out. To come to the success recipe, check what each of the models has in common and you will start to see common ground. The common ground is where you will find, some of the key ingredients to build a successful project.
In the projects where we have had the best results, people are the key on both our side and the client side. Where we have had management buy-in and the management teams championing gamification, the results are significantly higher than where only tools are available. Our design process includes design thinking workshops by default, which largely relies on good cross sections of people from the organisation coming together for a common goal. A switched on project team, that can drive meetings and decisions internally is also essential to keep the project on track.
Our non-negotiables for project success are dedicated people on the team, clear objectives and outcomes and then access to the intended user-base.