What if the framework doesn’t fit?

In a lot of my gamification workshops, participants will have come across gamification frameworks. The question often arises that some framework doesn’t quite fit their situation and then what should they do?

Here is the thing, a lot of frameworks are written by evangelists, who will have varying degrees of implementation practise. One or two even happily declare they are academics rather than practitioners. Going from great theory to actual practise often takes more than just thinking about how it ought to work in an ideal situation. Reality and theory are not always a match made in heaven and that also holds true for gamification frameworks.

When you are in the implementation game, like we are, awareness of the frameworks is useful as a base. But implementing it as it is, rarely happens. Most often we take part of a framework and leave the rest, purely because it doesn’t fit perfectly or is not required to fit in its’ entirety.

If a client has a situation where no framework truly fits, then we research the narrative inside the organisation, ask a lot of questions of the target audience and design from there. In the end of the day, what is more important is that the business objectives are achieved in a way that fits the people the gamification design is intended for.

Be flexible in your design and have fun matching the parts that work!