UIEtips: Designing with the Elements of Play

Jared Spool

March 30th, 2010

Woody Allen once said, “There is no scientific evidence to support the notion that life should be taken seriously.” When it comes to designing applications, Woody was right on the mark.

Recently, we’ve been hanging out with Stephen Anderson. Stephen makes it his business to explore how serious applications can be fun and engaging. The more we talk to him, the more examples we see of fascinating and novel approaches to entice people to use our designs.

In today’s UIEtips, we explore some of Stephen’s thinking with a fresh look at how the elements of game play can serve our business requirements. We look at examples from four businesses to see different approaches to integrating the elements of play into great user experiences. I’m sure you’ll find it interesting.

Read Stephen’s article, Designing with the Elements of Play.

Stephen’s discussion of Serious Play was one of the highlights of the recent San Diego stop on the UIE Web App Masters Tour. Today’s article is just the tip of the iceberg — he has way more insights than we can fit here. Don’t miss them (or the other great Web App Masters) in our upcoming stops in Minneapolis, Philadelphia, or Seattle. Details at UIETour.com.

Have you experimented with game play in your applications? We’d love to hear your experiences? Share them below.

2 Responses to “UIEtips: Designing with the Elements of Play”

  1. Doren Berge Says:

    Amy Jo Kim has been talking about this for several years.

    As a compliment to this topic her Google presentation is posted on YouTube:
    Putting the Fun in Functional: Applying Game Mechanics to Functional Software

  2. Anonymous Says:

    A really nice example is Xero’s (www.xero.com) use of completing a noughts and crosses game in its signup process instead of using Captcha.

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