HCI


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 […]


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 […]


How do students differ in gamified education? 1

Originally published in the ACM XRDS blog. Gamification of University-level courses is becoming a common practice, as many professors decide to try offering their students a more engaging learning environment. Nevertheless, we still do not have a clear idea on how individual students engage differently with a gamified course. But now a detailed, long-term study from the University of Lisbon has presented some insightful observations on this topic. During the course of their study, the researchers observed three editions of […]


12 Findings for Gamification from CHI PLAY 2016

CHI PLAY 2016, the ACM Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, happened last week and made available a lot of interesting research in games, play, and gamification. I have made a compilation of 12 of the relevant findings for future Gamification design and research. Check them out! Design Applications can be designed to support different user types of be personalized to specific target users. In The Gamification User Types Hexad Scale, researchers showed which game design elements users of each one […]


The peak-end rule influences enjoyment of games

The peak-end rule is a psychological heuristic that explains how people judge an experience largely based on its peak (i.e., its most intense point) and its end, rather on the whole experience. A research from the Universities of Saskatchewan and Canterbury and Autodesk sought to verify if this effect would influence player’s enjoyment of (casual) games. They manipulated the difficulty or balance of three simple games to vary the peak and end experiences, keeping the playing experience otherwise unchanged, and […]


Understanding How the Context Supports Autonomy

Self-determination theory posits autonomy as a basic need that fuels intrinsic motivation. Thus, we consider it an important characteristic of intrinsically enjoyable tasks, including games. We often say that game playing is a voluntary activity. However, when we think about serious games or gamification, there is a risk that the seriousness of the context and the obligation to interact with the system may thwart the user’s autonomy. Several gamification scholars and designers have pointed out that good gamification must be […]


The Gamification User Types Hexad Scale 2

Several studies have indicated the need for personalising gamified systems to users’ personalities. However, mapping user personality onto design elements is difficult. To address this problem, Marczewski developed the Gamification User Types Hexad framework, based on research on human motivation, player types, and practical design experience. He also suggested different game design elements that may support different user types. However, until now we were still lacking a standard assessment tool for user’s preferences based on the Hexad framework. There was […]


Positive Computing: a novel research field to promote human wellbeing

Originally published on the ACM XRDS blog. Technology has undoubtedly improved at vertiginous speeds in the last decades. However, there is no evidence that all this technology is helping increase the people’s general wellbeing. Calvo and Peters have attributed this to the fact that most technology professionals keep a machine-focused view of their work, avoiding to look at anything related to the user’s’ wellbeing. Nevertheless, recently there has been a growing body of efforts related to using technology to improve human […]


Personality-targeted Gamification 3

Recently, a number of research studies have been investigating how to personalise gameful applications to each different user. One of these studies was presented at CHI 2016 and investigated how different people respond to various gamification approaches in health-related habit tracking applications. The researchers asked 248 participants to rate how helpful and enjoyable different game design elements seemed to be. Additionally, they seek to understand if there was any relation between the participants’ preferences and their personality traits, measured by […]