All posts by Daniel Hudson

Healthy Behaviors with Gamification of Health

Gamification for Healthy Behaviors

“It’s not the technology, it’s the psychology”

Anyone that has ever been on a diet or has worked on creating healthy lifestyle habits can tell you that changing behavior is not easy. The path to success usually involves positive reinforcement from within and others. Negative behaviors from within or others can easily keep us from achieving our goals. This human behavior also applies to “Motivational Design”, as in the use of “Gamification” to help guide players through desired behaviors to achieve goals.

sunrise over water

It’s not the technology, it’s the psychology

Innovation Gamification

Gamification combined with Design Thinking can help us think differently about innovation. Leveraging this process with Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) provides new levels of engagement for supporting desired behaviors. The seven phases of design thinking and a video about teaching design thinking through gamification are available here, “Design Thinking Gamification for Accelerating Innovation“.

Beyond Gamification of Healthy Behaviors

Gartner predicts that by 2015, more than 50% of organizations that manage innovation processes will Gamify those processes, “The Gamification of Innovation in the Enterprise“. Gartner also added Gamification in their 2011 Technology Hype Cycle report. Gamification does have a lot of hype, but can also be used for good.

Robert Scoble recorded an amazing interview with keasAdam Bosworth that goes beyond Gamification for healthy behaviors. Adam candidly talks about the jagged rocks of failure scattered along the curves on the road to success. He also mentions numerous stats and facts, this within itself shows the value of understanding your audience and measuring what is important. There are a LIFETIME of lessons packed in this 41 minute video.

Quick Quotes

  • “Never start a web project as a platform problem”
  • “What are we really trying to do?”
  • “It’s not the technology, it’s the psychology”

Powerful Persuasive Points

  1. Help Solve Real Problems
  2. Positive Reinforcement is Powerful
  3. Make. Measure. Modify.
  4. Surface Specific Steps
  5. Think People Over Technology
  6. Seek First to Understand
  7. Practice Persuasive Design
  8. Group Size Affects Engagement
  9. ???

How Gamification of Health Works

The “Power of Play” guides behavior and changes attitudes about goals. See how keas works and why gamification of health is important in this video.

 

Twitter Gamification Gameboard

Gamification and the art of Motivational Design are complex topics, but there are many smart people and organizations willing to help. Here are several people and organizations on Twitter that are focused on Gamification, Game Mechanics, and Game Theory for engagement on this Twitter Gamification Gameboard. People can also connect with others by following this Gamification Twitter List.
[twitterusers @marigo @Seriosity @mbjorn @gzicherm @dingstweets @amyjokim @mich8elwu @mmartoccia @GrahamHill]

Creating Persuasive Experiences

Adam Bosworth talks about creating persuasive technology during the process of creating keas in his video interview. Persuasive Technology is broadly defined as technology that is designed to change attitudes or behaviors of the users through persuasion and social influence, but not through coercion (Fogg 2002). Such technologies are regularly used in sales, diplomacy, politics, religion, military training, public health, and management, and may potentially be used in any area of human-human or human-computer interaction.

Here are a few resources for developing a strategy on creating persuasive experiences.

Stanford Persuasive Tech Lab: By empowering millions of people to create persuasive experiences with technology, we will have thousands, and perhaps millions, of forces working toward the better in the world.

Stanford Behavior Design: The best design solutions today change human behavior. Yet despite decades of research, challenges remain for people who design to influence. First, “persuasion” seems a dirty word. It shouldn’t be. We should now embrace that we’re in the business of behavior change. Next problem: conceptual confusion. The landscape of persuasion can be disorienting, muddied by impractical theories and over-hyped techniques. Our new work provides a clear view of behavior change, including language that is simple yet accurate.

Stanford Game Theory: Game theory is the study of the ways in which strategic interactions among economic agents produce outcomes with respect to the preferences (or utilities) of those agents, where the outcomes in question might have been intended by none of the agents.

The Gamification Summit NYC is the must-attend event that shows you how to use the power of games to create breakthrough engagement with your customers and employees. Companies like Gilt Groupe, Google, Microsoft, NBC/Universal, MTV, Recyclebank and Aetna have leveraged gamification to transform their businesses, and will share startling insights, statistics and hands-on workshops at GSummit NYC.

Design Thinking Gamification for Accelerating Innovation

The Game has Changed

Are REAL Players Thinking Differently?

While visiting several Smithsonian museums in Washington DC, I was awestruck by this Nation of Innovation.  Extraordinary innovations from seemingly ordinary people.  These great innovators (creators of print, electricity, human flight, …) are actually very similar to people we see everyday.  So, what makes a great innovator?  Were these innovative players design thinkers?  Did they accomplish these great achievements by leveraging science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), core technological underpinnings of an advanced society, and apply Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)?

Design Thinking

Unlike analytical thinking, design thinking is a creative process based around the “building up” of ideas. There are no judgments early on in design thinking. This eliminates the fear of failure and encourages maximum input and participation in the ideation and prototype phases. Outside the box thinking is encouraged in these earlier processes since this can often lead to creative solutions.  An example of a design thinking process could have seven stages: define, research, ideate, prototype, choose, implement, and learn. Within these seven steps, problems can be framed, the right questions can be asked, more ideas can be created, and the best answers can be chosen. The steps aren’t linear; they can occur simultaneously and can be repeated.

Teaching design thinking through gamification

Design Ethnography is  a discipline which teaches you how to observe what people do in order to identify hidden needs for which you can design new solutions. It’s one of a group of skills that have never been part of the early educational curriculum before. Recent experiments in imparting these skills using “game dynamics” show that it’s astonishingly easy to quickly turn places where learning motivation is often almost unattainable into a hive of surprisingly self-motivated promising design-thinking innovators.

Mickey McManus is president, CEO, and principal of MAYA Design, Inc.  He shares examples of STEM SEL Design Thinking in the video.

5 Discovery Skills of Great Innovators

So what makes innovators different from the rest of us?  Innovators engage the following behavioral skills more frequently:

  1. Connecting. Innovators connect fields, problems, or ideas that others find unrelated
  2. Questioning. Innovators are consummate questioners who show a passion for inquiry.
  3. Observing. Innovators are also intense observers.
  4. Networking. Innovators spend a lot of time and energy finding and testing ideas through a diverse network of individuals who vary wildly in their backgrounds and perspectives.
  5. Experimenting. Finally, innovators are constantly trying out new experiences and piloting new ideas.

8 Pillars of Innovation

Google’s Susan Wojcicki says the key to innovation is, “Nurturing a culture that allows for innovation”.  She went on to share these foundational 8 Pillars of Innovation.

  1. Have a Mission that­ Matters
  2. Think Big but Start Small
  3. Strive for Continual Innovation, not Instant Perfection
  4. Look for Ideas Everywhere
  5. Share Everything
  6. Spark with Imagination, Fuel with Data
  7. Be a Platform
  8. Never Fail to Fail

What if Problem Solving was Fun?

The Gamification of World Peace

Most people think their problems are a world crisis.  What if solving real problems was fun?  John Hunter shares his experience of the world peace game in this enlightening video.

Tools and Resources

Social Innovation Toolkit

The Innovator’s Toolkit provides system-level change strategies, tips and tools culled from the experience of innovators driving change in communities across the country.  The Innovator’s Toolkit is also based on a framework for advancing innovation.

Mozilla Open Badges Project

Today’s learning happens everywhere, not just in the classroom. But it’s often difficult to get credit for it.  Mozilla and Peer 2 Peer University are working to solve this problem by developing an Open Badges infrastructure.  Learn more here.

Free Wireframe & Mockup Tools for UX & UI Designs

Free Wireframe & Mockup Tools

Creating the Immersive Personal Experience (IPX)

User Experience (UX)

User experience (UX) is about how a person feels about using a product, system or service. User experience highlights the experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction and product ownership, but it also includes a person’s perceptions of the practical aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency of the system.

User Interface (UI)

User interface (UI) design is about achieving the goal of human-machine interaction engineering, which is to produce a user interface which makes it easy, efficient, and enjoyable to operate a machine in the way which produces the desired result. This generally means that the operator needs to provide minimal input to achieve the desired output, and also that the machine minimizes undesired outputs to the human.

Immersive Personal Experience (IPX)

Immersive Personal Experience (IPX) is accomplishing the ultimate goal of helping the user achieve the Immersive Personal experience (IPX) by design.

Wireframes & Mockups

Mockups, wireframes and prototypes are not so cleanly distinguished in software and systems engineering, where mockups are a way of designing user interfaces on paper or in computer images. A software mockup will thus look like the real thing, but will not do useful work beyond what the user sees. A software prototype, on the other hand, will look and work just like the real thing. In many cases it is best to design or prototype the user interface before source code is written or hardware is built, to avoid having to go back and make expensive changes.

Free Wireframe & Mockup Tools for UX & UI Designs

SimpleDiagrams is a small desktop application that helps you express your ideas quickly and simply. There’s just enough functionality to describe a thought or capture a process.

 

iPhoneMockup is a web-based application for creating quick mockups for iPhone.

Gliffy helps you to easily create professional-quality flowcharts, diagrams, floor plans, technical drawings, and more!

 

MockupTiger helps you build wireframes, mockups and prototypes. It is very unique web based Rapid prototyping application and offers the best widgets to build Dashboard Wireframes or website Mockups. Provides scalable library of vector Icons, powerful Text widgets, containers and boxes and Dashboard Chart widgets.

 

MockFlow helps to design interactive UI mockups for Desktop Software, Rich Internet Apps and Web sites.

 

Mockingbird is an online tool that makes it easy for you to create, link together, preview, and share mockups of your website or application.

 

The Pencil Project’s unique mission is to build a free and opensource tool for making diagrams and GUI prototyping that everyone can use.

 

Cacoo is a user friendly online drawing tool that allows you to create a variety of diagrams such as site maps, wire frames, UML and network charts. Cacoo can be used free of charge.

 

Serena Prototype Composer provides a completely new way of gathering requirements. Serena Prototype Composer makes it possible to simulate how an application will look and function before any code is ever written.

 

Lumzy is a quick mockup creation and prototyping tool.

More Free Resources for Wireframes & Mockups

Tools for UX & UI Designs

 

Social Media Matters: Blogs, Facebook, & Twitter

Blogs, Facebook, & Twitter

A Social Media Strategy Story

A few weeks ago, I met with some people from a local organization to discuss how to use the web and social media to share some of their stories.  The goal of phase 1 was to connect with others and obtain good placement in search engine results from Google, Bing, and Yahoo.  Here is the situation:

  • Little Time
  • No Money
  • Minimal Tech Skills

A quick analysis of the situation lead us to Google Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, and the creation of Children of Humble School Africa Blog.  Most of the people in the organization were already familiar with these Social Networking Services.  These Social Media tools are free and can be activated in minutes.  These tools don’t require a Computer Science degree to use, in fact they are simple enough to be used by a child, grandparent, or anyone in-between.

Social Media Gets Results

Using Social Media to share stories and connect with others has a positive effect in top search engines.  Here are the results after 14 days.

Google: Search Engine results for our site after 14 days was top four results out of 13.2 Million.

 

Google: Search Engine results for our site after 14 days was the top result out of 29.2 Million.

 

Bing: Search Engine results for our site after 14 days was two of the top four results out of 4.2 Million.

 

Yahoo: Search Engine results for our site after 14 days was two of the top four results out of 4.3 Million.

 

Social Media for Small Businesses & Non-Profits

The Social Business of Web 2.0

Once upon a time, the power to reach out and connect with others beyond your local community was reserved an exclusive group of people.  Social Media extends this ability to all people and bursts open the door of new opportunities.

Google Blogger

I was not as familiar with Google Blogger compared to other types of Social Media tools, but was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get started.  The ability to integrate other social media is also very simple.

Blogger is a web-based tool that helps you publish to the web instantly – whenever the urge strikes. It’s the leading tool in the rapidly growing area of web publishing known as weblogs, or “blogs.”  Google Blogger gives you a way to automate (and greatly accelerate) the blog publishing process without writing any code or worrying about installing any sort of server software or scripts. And yet, it still gives you total control over the look and location of your blog.  Details on how to get started are available in this video.

Web Gadgets, Widgets, & Apps

There are countless gadgets, widgets, and apps to support social media integration.  Some of these for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other Social Networks can be found in these collections, “25 Great Blogger Widgets“, “Google Gadgets Directory, Collection of Google Blogger Plugins, and people can easily create their custom social gadgets with the Google Blogger API.

Mobile Device Support

The ability to support displaying your content in “app-like” format on multiple mobile devices at the flip of a switch is one of the main strengths of this free service.

Photo Walls

You can also add interactive photo walls to your blog, created with pictures from Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, YouTube, and RSS.  You can share these photo walls on web sites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, WordPress, and more.  You can create and share amazing photo walls for your web sites and blogs using Cooliris.

Social Media Engagement

The Children of Humble School Africa Blog with Social Media integration is just a tiny example of the real possibilities.  There are many great people that share helpful tips about how small businesses and non-profits can leverage the power of social media. Some of these very talented people include:

[twitterusers @goodlaura @scedmonds @JessicaNorthey @Philanthropy @kanter @rosettathurman @briansolis @2morrowknight @chrisbrogan]

 

Gamification Game Plan for Reducing Cost of Employee Turnover

idea flickr pachytime 2450230567

Human Resources Gamification

Reducing High Cost of Employee Turnover

One day I was having lunch with some of the management team of our human resources department and was shocked to discover the outrageous cost of employee turnover.  This information lead me to performing some additional research on the issues and the organization’s culture.  A few days later I was invited to give a presentation on my ideas about possible solutions.

I presented an idea about a new platform to facilitate connecting employees to support fueling innovation.  I called this platform “Mentor Match”, some of my colleagues laughed at me when I compared this new platform to a dating web site.  More of them grumbled when they saw things like “favorite sport teams, places, books, movies, …” in the employee profile mock-ups.  I just explained that we are not a factory of robots, but an organization of human beings.  Our goal here is to provide people with the seeds of initial interaction for growing meaningful relationships.  The mentor feedback loop, leaderboards, education, skills, and recommendation engine won them over.  A new platform was born.

The game mechanics and gameful design used in this solution supports the concepts of gamification.  I believe real gamification success is achieved when interactions continue beyond the platform.  These interactions included mentoring circles, speed mentoring events and employees creating lasting friendships supporting emotional bonds and psychological connections to the organization. This was created on the REAL foundation supporting the Pillars of Purpose.

The REAL Foundation

Supporting the Pillars of Purpose

Small things can make a huge difference. Do you believe the words “who” and “how” have the same letters by accident? How solutions solve problems is not possible without the letters from the word “who”. The R.E.A.L. Foundation helps us discover “how” by focusing on “who”. R.E.A.L. was inspired by Rob Forbes’ works in “Design & Culture“.

Relationships
Engagement
Attitude
Listening

 

Social Business Gamification

Unlocking the Power of Meaningful Engagement

Today’s smart business owners are applying this same type of strategy to strengthen relationships with customers, clients, & partners.  They now  have the opportunity reach beyond Twitter Followers, Facebook Fans, and other Social Media channels to harness the power of meaningful engagement.  Many name brands are achieving new levels of engagement with Social Business Gamificaiton.  Business owners can use services provided by several big players in the gamificaiton market to step up their customer relationship game.

Rypple combines the best qualities of social software with a new approach to performance management-one that empowers managers and their teams to learn faster and perform better.  Rypple is based on 50+ years of behavioral science, focusing on what really keeps people passionate about their work.

Badgeville, The Social Loyalty Platform, makes it easy for business leaders, smart marketers and innovative technologists to increase user behavior and conversions with proven techniques from social gaming.

Bunchball’s Nitro platform drives participation, engagement, loyalty and revenue for customers including Syfy, USA Network, Hearst, Meredith, NBC, Comcast, Victoria’s Secret PINK, Resource Interactive, Exent, LiveOps, Warner Bros. and Hasbro. Brands, publishers, employers and CPG companies use the Nitro gamification platform to create compelling, meaningful and enjoyable experiences for their users.

BigDoor helps web publishers, marketers and developers grow and engage their communities.  They offer a cost-effective, flexible and easy to use suite of tools to quickly build game mechanics into your online experiences and applications.

Cloudcaptive provides Social Business Gamificaiton services and products.

UserInfuser offered by Cloudcaptive, is an open source platform that provides customizable gamification elements designed to increase user interaction on websites.  The project involves badging, points, live notifications, and leaderboards. Additonally, the platform provides analytics to track user participation.

AppFusions is an engineering consultancy of experts creating implementations, solutions, connectors.  They have Social Business Strategy consultants and specialists around the world that are ready to help you with your Gamification needs.  The friendly professional people at AppFusions can help, contact AppFusions today.  You can also catch up with Ellen Feaheny (CEO of AppFusions) on Twitter at: @ellenfeaheny

Gamification Strategy

Your Gamification Strategy should compliment your Social Business Strategy.  Developing well defined goals along with an understanding of your audience will improve your levels of success.  The magic of gameful design, the social science of game dynamics, and the implementation of great game mechanics will help you achieve desired results when coupled with a long-term business strategy.

Additional Gamificaiton Resources

Please feel free to share your gamification resources and ideas here.