IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 32
Gamification: How to Play
How is gamification influencing design? It is changing the design process
to enable participation, simulation, and feedback. It is influencing why people go
places and their expectations when they get there. It is shaping experiences
within spaces as well as the operations of those spaces.
Gamifying the Design Process
In many ways, the process of design is a game of problem solving. You move toward
a goal, using creative thinking to work within the rules and constraints established
at the outset. You enable participation from others on your team and garner input
from a variety of "players." Along the way, you try out ideas and learn from your
failures and successes.
Embracing this concept and the idea of gamification, some design teams have begun
to make use of hands-on applications. Design games can be invented or pulled from
books like "Gamestorming", which offer a number of these sorts of exercises and can
serve as helpful compendiums.
At brightspot strategy, a planning tool called "floorplay" is used to interactively plan
spaces as a kind of game in the programming phase, using a kit-of-parts made up
of colored plastic chips that act as game pieces. The kit is an off-shoot of the popular
"Interior Design Sandbox" tool developed by designer and strategic consultant Scott
Francisco, and it works in two or three stages. First, users determine spatial
requirements and mark off an area representing that space. Then they "program
on the fly," discussing and prioritizing how much of what kinds of space are needed
within the budget, assigning each program element a color and allocating a corresponding number of markers of that color to each element. Finally, the markers
are arranged and rearranged in an effort to get the right relationships on a floor plan.
A furniture kit-of-parts can also add detail to the layout.
There are applications outside the office as well, like "Service Safaris," where
individuals or groups go out into the field to experience service-based interactions
first-hand. Safari-goers observe and record information on everything from the
various stages of the service, to the kinds of objects people interact with, to the kinds
of spaces the service takes place in it's an incredible scavenger hunt and a fantastic
method for project research or best practice documentation. Clients can be engaged
in these types of activities as well, especially during programming. While in the
planning phase for the renovations of their buildings in midtown Manhattan,
The New York Public Library engaged in a number of "safaris." NYPL staff visited
cultural, retail, and institutional sites throughout the city, learning about trends,
recording their impressions, and trying to see places through the user's eyes.
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