Kevin Werbach's "6 D's" of Gamification Design Framework

Gamification 7 – Design Framework

PHILADELPHIA, 23 September –- Gamification with Kevin Werbach of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School, Week 4!
Gamification Home Page @Coursera

Gamification done well is a form of design. This unit provides a six-step framework to apply to any gamification project.


7.1 Design Thinking
Design isn’t just creative expression, but a process for attacking problems.

ScreenCap from Kevin Werbach's Coursera / Wharton School course on Gamification showing elements of Design Thinking

Purposive – has a goal, everything in process works toward
Human Centered – the experience, designed around people – “Players!”
Balance of analytics & creative
— formal algorithms don’t always solve problems, heuristics, Abductive Reasoning (Charles Pearce)
Iterative – prototyping & playtesting – rough prototype > let people play with it > continual improvement

Kevin Werbach's "6 D's" of Gamification Design Framework

Gamification Design Framework
1. Define business objectives
2. Delineate target behaviors
3. Describe your players
4. Devise activity loops
5. Don’t forget the fun! – easy 2 miss when you obsess on the structure
6. Deploy the appropriate tools

7.2 D1/2: Define Business Objectives / Deliniate Target Behaviors
Not PBL, but your ultimate goals. What defines Success / Failure?

eg Foursquare’s objectives:
• Social Sharing – habit of checking in, build database
• Influence Marketing – Mayor Special > influencer others look to

How do you catalog your business goals?
1. List & Rank possible objectives & tradeoffs
2. Eliminate Means-2-Ends eg “Badges” aren’t a goal but a means
3. Justify remaining objectives

Step 2 – Target Behaviors
• Specific things you want Customers, Staff, Students, etc, to do
• Success Metrics (“win states”)
• Analytics
— DAU / MAU – Daily / Monthly average users (ratio of the 2 numbers) – 1.0 would be incredible consistency 0.01 would be sad (“bounces”) Sporadic attendance or abandonment
— Virality – friend referrals – Pinterest, Zynga, etc!
— Volume of Activity – how much activity, points, badges, etc, happening – and what are peeps doing? earning points? badges?

7.3 D3: Players
Who are these people playing your game?
• Demographics
• Psychographics – things they like to do, buy, etc
help you “segment” – not try to be all things to all peeps

What motivates your players?

ScreenCap of Richard Bartle's famous "4 Player Types" in MMOG's: Achievers, Explorers, Socialites & Killers

(Richard) Bartle MMOG Player Type Model
Killers may be only 1% of participants, but they’re the most intense participants
(you’re not just 1 type always)

7.4 D4: Activity loops
Games have “loops” like programs
• Engagement Loops – micro – activities:
Motivation > Action > Feedback >

ScreenCap from Kevin Werbach lecture on Gamification showing "Engagement Loops - Motivation leads to Action leads to Feedback, which again leads to Motivation

ScreenCap from Gamification lecture by Kevin Werbach showing how "Progression Loops" build small achievements into larger goals

• Progression Loops – macro – long term
series of small challenges – part of a larger challenge
also a representation of the player journey – rising & falling action
Onboarding > Climb / Rest / Climb Rest… > Boss Fight (now a really hard challenge 4 next level)
a natural experience, not a grueling forced march
and not monotonous, variety of experiences in game

Another view of "Progression Loops" as climbing a hill with alternating steep spots and rest spots

7.5 D5/6: Don’t Forget the Fun & Deploy Appropriate Tools
it’s easy to forget it’s supposed to be fun!

ScreenCap of Kevin Werbach lecture on Gamification, "Don't forget the fun" - many attempts at gamification bog down in details and lose the original fun element, conversely, as this slide shows, even a "protein folding game" can be fun

If the underlying activity isn’t fun & engaging, you have a real challenge. Don’t assume the activity is fun in itself.

Then again, even LinkedIn’s progress bar can be a bit of fun. Was apparently enough to get peeps to fill out profiles more. Gave them substantial results.

Protein Folding “game” – real advances in a very serious cause (medicine, aids vaccine, etc)

6. Deploy Tools
a lot of possibilities beyond PBL

As a virtual public artist my work invites avatar communities to express their identity, explore their culture, and demand their civil rights.

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