User Experience


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 […]


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

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

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 […]


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 […]


Momentary Pleasure or Lasting Meaning in Interactive Technologies

A research project from the Universities of Basel and Copenhagen sought to understand the differences between momentary pleasure and lasting meaning in positive experiences with interactive technologies. These ideas come from a long tradition in both history and user experience research. Momentary pleasurable experiences are referred as hedonic experiences, a word that was introduced by ancient Greek philosophers. In contrast, experiences that express virtue and that are meaningful are identified as eudaimonic experiences. We also refer to living a eudaimonic […]

man with tablet