Research


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

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 […]


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 […]


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 3

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 […]