2019-08-13 | Koek

Design sprint on gamification (EN)


There are a lot of definitions when it comes to gamification. We use this one: “With gamification, you use game elements to motivate users and enrich their experience”. After doing plenty of research on this topic we travelled to Malta for a design sprint at our client’s office. 

The end goal? Increase player loyalty in a fun way!

Now you wonder, what is a design sprint? Well, let’s just guide you through it. We planned one for the entire week.

Day 1: Building the foundation. 

We did a lot of research on the topic Gamification and so did our client. We start the day by presenting it to each other. The rest of the day is all about one goal: determine why do we do this project and what strategy we choose for. 

From now on, a lot of brainstorms and discussions take place. Questions we want to answer are about which business KPI’s should gamification improve? Where do we want to be in six months, a year or even five years from now? Who is our target audience, which players do we focus on and what are the most important touchpoints?

A full day of discussion, decision making and just a lot of thinking together (and individually). Assigned decisionmakers eventually pick the best ideas, summarize the decisions and plot a strategy.

Day 2: Ideas, vote, sketch, vote!

For most (at least within our creatively oriented company) this is the best part of a design sprint. The goal for the end of the day is to make abstract ideas concrete ideas.

Some exercises in this phase are:

Lightning demos: we made a wall (literally, see image) of inspiration. With a big group of people everyone has to pick  the best ideas from the wall with, of course, good reasoning behind it. We look for links between the ideas and the proven theories of gamification. The deciders vote again for the best ideas or combinations of ideas. 

4 step sketch:

Now we convert ideas to solutions in four steps:

  • Take notes: we go through all the available research and inspiration. We keep in mind the strategic decisions from day one and the decisions for the basic ideas of the lightning demos.
  • Ideas: we individually jot down some rough ideas and select the most promising ones. 
  • Crazy 8s. We sketch variations of our best ideas in 8 different ways. 
  • Solution sketch. We create a three-panel storyboard and put them on the wall (anonymously). 

So now we have a lot of ideas, sketches, concepts. Let’s all sleep on it!

Day 3: Vote for a concept and split up the team. 

We all take the time to have a look at each other's ideas and decide which ideas have the best chance of achieving the decided long term goals. In a “speed critique” exercise we discuss the highlights of each solution. Eventually, each person anonymously chooses their favourite idea by putting a post-it on it. It is up to the super voter (the final decider) to do the final vote. He picks the best concepts or parts of a concept and there we go: we have a final concept in just 2 days and a bit!

We split up teams for the rest of the day. The designer and UX’er commit themselves on working out the concept towards a clickable prototype and a stunning design. Other teams work on the strategic report and working out the roadmap for this project.

Day 4: Do I hear clickable prototype?

The Visual design and UX team work on the prototype, designs and a storyboard. The most important deliverable for this day is a detailed user flow and something clickable. 

The other teams discuss how the roadmap fits the bigger picture. What are our clients business goals and how do we align these with the roadmap? We prepare the presentation for the final day and do some activities to make a super start for further development.

Day 5: Finalizing the concept.

One more day to finalize the concept. A hard day of work to finally present the prototype to our client. Normally we would interview real users on this day as well. We didn’t do this because we used a lot of proven methods already. Further down the road we will interview real users to optimize the working product. 

The actual development and additional design sprints are now ready to take off!

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