Personalized Gameful Design – Part 1 1

I recently presented and published my Ph.D. Thesis describing a method for personalized gameful design. I will now begin publishing a series of posts in this blog introducing and detailing this method so everyone can apply it without needing to read the whole thesis. 🙂 But first, what is Personalized Gameful Design and why should you learn about it? Definition of Personalized Gameful Design In my work, I adopt the following definition of personalization, which is detailed in Chapter 3 of […]


Gamification User Types or Player Traits: When should I use each one of them?

At the HCI Games Group, we have been working for the past few years in two related projects: the validation of the Gamification User Types Hexad and the study of player typologies, which recently led to the creation of our Five-factor Player Traits model. Therefore, a question that people have been asking us is when they should use each one of these models. Are they interchangeable, or are there specific situations when one is more appropriate than the other? Short […]


Interview for GamFed

I was recently featured on an interview for GamFed, the International Gamification Confederation, where I spoke about my research into personalised gameful design, the state of gamification research in general, what we can look forward to, and the role GamFed can play in furthering gamification. Follow the link below to read the full interview.


Gamification Insights from Professional Development Event in Toronto

Last week, Ryerson University‘s Chang School of Continuing Education organized a one-day professional development and networking event in Toronto, Canada. The event focused on serious games and gamification for three specific application areas: higher education, healthcare, and corporate. Several dozens of attendees spent the day discussing how to efficiently employ gamification for their needs, what are the pitfalls to avoid, and what are the general guidelines for success. I attended the corporate track, so I can comment on the presentations […]


Understanding Gamification Through Goal-Setting Theory

Goal-setting theory has been used for decades to explain how to motivate people to perform better in work-related tasks by setting and monitoring goals. Gamification is also inherently a goal-oriented activity, aimed at fostering motivation; therefore, it is logic to expect that these two practices would fit very well together and help us design better motivational experiences. Surprisingly, very few research works so far have seriously explored the use of goal-setting theory to explain and inform gameful design, with most literature […]

Goal Setting Theory x Gamification

Octalysis Prime: a gameful journey to learn gamification

Octalysis Prime, the “gamified mentorship journey with Yu-kai Chou“, was officially launched this February 1st, 2018. Octalysis Prime is a comprehensive platform aimed at teaching gamification and related concepts and practices. It is structured in the format of a real-life RPG (role-playing game), in which the user levels up by studying the Octalysis framework and the concepts behind it. Development of the platform followed a successful Kickstarter campaign, which received more than $ 50,000 in funding. I had the opportunity […]

Octalysis Prime Island

Elements of Gameful Design Classified by User Preferences — part 3

See also: Part 1 and Part 2 In part 1, I presented an overview of our research study that classified the most commonly used gameful design elements according to user preferences, and in part 2 I listed which elements make part of each group of user preferences. In the last post of this series, let’s look at how the participants’ gender, age, personality, and user types influenced their preferences for the gameful design elements in our study. Gender The results […]

Groups of Gameful Design Elements

Elements of Gameful Design Classified by User Preferences — part 2 1

See also: Part 1 In part 1, I presented an overview of our research study that classified the most commonly used gameful design elements according to user preferences: Now, let’s dive into more detail and look at the complete list of gameful design elements that were included in each group. This information provides valuable data to understand user preferences and aid designers interested in creating personalized gameful systems. Individual Motivations This group represents the user’s interest in their own experience […]

Groups of Gameful Design Elements

Elements of Gameful Design Classified by User Preferences 1

At the HCI Games Group, we have been working to understand user preferences in gameful applications in order to develop methodologies for personalized gameful design. Last year, we worked together with Andrzej Marczewski and the AIT to develop a new questionnaire for the Hexad user types. The user types describe characteristics of the user, but do not tell us directly what gameful design elements each user prefer. Nevertheless, we also tested it and showed that there is a relationship between […]

Groups of Gameful Design Elements

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