UX Magazine

Defining and Informing the Complex Field of User Experience (UX)
December 7, 2012

Beyond Gamification: Designing Behavior Change Games with Dustin DiTommaso


Games are the prototypical example of an intrinsically motivating activity, driving the behaviors and engagement of players. These same elements are critical as we think through the designs of the products and services we create. At times we need to construct our designs so that they fit with the behaviors users’ already exhibit. But we also often find ourselves working to instill new behaviors in users.

Gamification has become a hot-topic in design for organizations looking to drive user engagement. But as they work to incorporate game elements into their designs they often are challenged by:

•an over-eagerness to "gamify" everything

•a disconnect between motivators and the behaviors they're intended to drive

•an over-reliance on common approaches like badges and points to drive motivation

•a lack of understanding of player types and their individual motivation needs

Game designers have developed principles, frameworks and archetypes that help them align their product with players needs and expectations. Identifying how and when to motivate players. By taking a deeper look into the psychology of game play, they've learned how and when to motivate users based on how they think, act and react.

With a better understanding of game design and behavior change you can:

•learn how to apply behavior change constructs to interactive systems

•craft game objectives that facilitate change, goal-setting, challenge and reward patterns

•identify how and where to apply game design and behavior change elements to the design of your product

•map personas to archetypes and game player life-cycles over the full experience a user has with your product

•balance intrinsic motivation with extrinsic incentives and rewards

Come join the conversation to learn about how gamification contributes to the design process.


Mad*Pow Boston
319 A Street
02210 Boston, Massachusetts
United States


December 7, 2012





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