Yesterday, the recently released book Games and Gamification in Market Research: Increasing Consumer Engagement in Research for Business Success by Betty Adamou was reviewed from the view of a researcher, focusing on ‘Section 1: World of Understanding’. Today it is reviewed, from the view of two designers, focussing on ‘Section 2: World of Design’

The market research industry often struggles to engage participants in online research. This is not solely due to the industry itself. The benchmark for online content is set by social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. And the benchmark is high!

To try and meet this benchmark and generate richer results, market researchers have long discussed borrowing elements from the gaming industry. An industry so engaging that in 2018 it attracted 2.3 billion active gamers worldwide.

Many of you will now be thinking:

how do I borrow gaming elements to design a game-based survey?” 

However, Betty Adamou’s book; Games and Gamification in Market Research: Increasing Consumer Engagement in Research for Business Success is here to help. The book has three well written and detailed sections, and a final section on the future of game-based research. The book knows its audience and uses relevant, down to earth examples which will resonate well with the reader.

With our design background, we looked to identify the key takeaways from Section 2: World of Design. This section is designed to give the audience a basic understanding of the key design principles involved in gamification.

  1. don’t disguise your survey

The section opens with crucial advice – do not disguise your game-based survey as a quiz or mislead the participant into thinking it is anything other than what it is. Using techniques like transparent labelling avoid confusing the participant into thinking they are doing an online personality quiz. The reason being, the game-play state of mind and the psychological attitude entering into the game should not be labelled differently. This means you meet the participant’s expectations of the game and keep them playing it.

  1. participant anticipation

“Don’t make the participant have to look for basic things to progress in their experience”

Understanding participant anticipation is crucial for a successful game. A mistake often made by designers. For ease of flow and experience, you must place buttons where they’re expected to be. Participants are now conditioned to expect certain ‘norms’ from online experiences. This is due to the daily use of computer programs and web browsers. Resultantly, we expect certain user interface elements to be placed in the same position regardless of the software. For example, we expect to see the close, minimise and scale buttons at the top left or right of a window, therefore you should keep them consistent in your game design.

Anticipate the expectations of the participant and place buttons sensibly and in obvious locations that you’d expect them to be in. This will avoid participants losing focus in the game.

  1. nudging the participant

You can also use participant anticipation to your advantage. For example, you can place buttons, interactions or gestures to target the participant’s attention to specific areas. A visual example is pulling down curtains to unveil products and/or buttons near certain text to draw attention.

These three learnings will aid anyone trying to design a game. However, we were left wanting to hear on a few topics:

  • An understanding of game participant experience principles and user flow. These are the fundamental building blocks of game design
  • Advice on font sizing and how many fonts to use should come after this in terms of importance – games still communicate in words and copy. Resultantly, such stylistic elements can have a significant impact on a game’s effectiveness

if you would like further information, please get in touch via:

By Emma Galvin, Creative Executive & Nicholas Lee, Senior Creative Executive

egalvin@northstarhub.com or  nlee@northstarhub.com

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