Yearly Archives: 2017


Adaptive goals outperform static goals for increasing physical activity

Last time, I have written about the results of a research study showing that non-personalized goals and competition in fitness trackers can harm teenagers’ intrinsic motivation to do physical activity. Reinforcing this fact, another recent study demonstrates that adaptive goals outperform static goals when encouraging adults to increase their physical activity levels. A study conducted by researchers at the Arizona State University and published in BMC Public Health compared adaptive versus static goals and immediate versus delayed financial rewards for […]

Woman running

The motivational impact of gameful fitness trackers 1

Many researchers and practitioners have been saying for some time that the most simplistic gamification implementations might lead to short-term engagement, but actually hurt long-term motivation and engagement. However, we still don’t have many controlled studies presenting evidence of this phenomenon and explaining why it would happen and how it can be avoided. Therefore, I was glad to find a recent study by Charlotte Kerner (Brunel University London) and Victoria A. Goodyear (University of Birmingham), which investigated the effect of […]

woman running with fitness tracker

Gameful Design Heuristics

Although many gameful design methods have emerged recently, designers still lack standard evaluation methods for evaluating gameful design. For other established areas of UX, heuristic evaluation methods are commonly used. In usability engineering, heuristics are general principles or broad usability guidelines that have been used to design and evaluate interactive systems. Heuristic evaluation, in the context of usability, is the use of said principles as a usability inspection method by experts to identify usability problems in an existing design as […]


Designing for Motivation

Gameful Design (gamification) has been an increasingly popular approach for improving the user’s motivation and experience when interacting with digital applications. As a result, the number of gameful designers has been steadily increasing in the past years, as well as the reports of successful projects gamification projects. However, what I still miss is more reports of gameful design integrated to the general product design and development process. I have seen many gamification projects reported as stand-alone projects, separated from the […]


Collection Interfaces for Digital Game Objects

Originally published by the HCI Games Group. The HCI Games Group collaborated with a research project that also involved the Play & Interactive Experiences for Learning Lab at the New Mexico State University and the University of California at Irvine to investigate player behaviour regarding the collection of digital objects in games. The study aimed to understand what kinds of objects players collect and why. It was firstly presented at the CHI PLAY 2016 Conference, where it received an Honorary […]


Gamification vs Gameful Design: why does it matter? 6

There have been so many discussions about the terms gamification and gameful design that I was avoiding posting about them until now. But now I felt like giving my contribution and trying to help differentiate both terms and discuss why the difference matters. Despite everything that has already been said about these two definitions, I feel we still not have an agreed upon differentiation between the two. Yet, a well-conceptualized differentiation was already suggested by Deterding and colleagues back in […]