All entries for Thursday 08 November 2007

November 08, 2007

Immersive Experiences: Intersections between Web 2.0 and Games

Sampo Karjalainen: sulake

Habbo – virtual world for teens. Self Expression/Open Play

Five Key takeaways from games

1: Points. Accumulate score; make progression obvious. Look for quantitative measures that you can report on. Ebay ratings, youtube hitcounts/ratings, digg count
2: Acheviements / Levels: Look for “completion” stages; once you’ve done something, you don’t have to go back
3: Collecting: e.g. Pokemon – a variation on Acheivement; collecting a whole set, or collecting a big set of friends on a SN sites
4: Learning: (c.f. Raph Koster: “A theory of fun”). Flow requires learning; have to be increasing your skills at the same rate as the game difficulty increases
Need progression. Imagine if every facebook app was installed in your account from day 1
5: Virtual Economy; game-in-a-game (c.f. Julian Dibell “Play Money”)

Five +1 tips for Open Play

Open play environments give users resources to develop their own games and activities without imposing any predefined idea of what the game should be

1: Something to play with. Less is more, so long as the objects are recombinable
2: Intuitive Interaction. Easy, rich interaction with a UI which is as invisible as possible. No dialogs, buttons etc. Don’t interrupt the flow and force the user to break out of their world
3: Mood for Play. Make it clear to users that play is allowable/expected
4: Foster user-created goals. Don’t impose your own goals on the system
5: Anticipate and Adapt. Watch for unexpected ways in which users are playing, and adapt the system to meet their needs.

+1: Shared Social Setting. Single-player open play doesn’t often work

Agile Development and Interaction Design

Leisa Reichelt

Waterfall: bad; washing machine: good;
Waterfall process: gather data->analyse data->formulate solution->implement.
– even in a formal process, people will tend to move between problem and solution, theorising, implemting a POC, revisitng,
– cyclic, iterative process synchronises everyone’s progress from problem to solution and back again
-WM: iterative; rapid early releases; teams are multi-disciplinary; collaborative
-Example WM metholologies; agile; UCD (user centred design (iterative, personas & scenarios, contextual research, user testing))
– both have missing elements: Agile is weak on end-user involvement. UCD is very design-centric; doesn’t involve developers, doesn’t release early
– agile fails to deliver on 2 key points: It confuses the customer who’s paying, with the customer who’s using. The bill-payer is very privileged in an agile project, but the end-user doesn’t get much of a say
– A large percentage of customer requirements never actually get used
– There’s no substitute for design research ; going out and actually asking users what they do.
– doing useability research at the end is too late. research has to be ongoing from as early as possible
– Nielson: Pay attention to what users do, not what they say
– need to add a “cycle 0” into an agile project where ucd is performed, but also need design involvement in every subsequent cycle
– Agile UCD needs longer cycles: but not too long!
– Agile UCD happens within Agile cycles, but typically feeds into later cycles

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