Gameful Design

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The Challenge: 

Design a learning portfolio/diary that focused on learning and reflecting.


My role: Part of (4) person team involved with all aspects of app development including brainstorming, sketching, iterating, design layout, and presentation.


The process:

  1. Conceptual Model

  2. User Research and Initial Sketching

  3. Analyzing Data

  4. Prototype Development

  5. Presentation of protoype

  6. Iterate. Iterate. Iterate.

  7. Final Solution presentation to HFES, NEC


The Requirements

The app must support the following tasks:


  • Regularly record what has been learned. Entries may contain what has been learned, how it was learned, it’s importance, etc. These entries may need to be ‘approved’ by a supervisor or expert.

  • All entries must be findable and organized in a logical (to the user) way.

  • Entries should show what a learner’s competencies are in relation to what they learned.

  • The application must support and take into consideration two very different audiences: 1) a UX Professional, and 2) a Hands-On worker (i.e. carpenter, mechanic, etc.

  • The application must support a global audience, therefore addressing language differences as well as other possible cultural differences. • It should be designed with a ‘mobile first’ approach and utilize gameful design.

Stage 1: The Conceptual Model

The conceptual model for this app follows the idea that workers are currently accumulating artifacts that validate their learning, knowledge, and expertise in a variety of locations. Without a central repository for various artifacts, tracking learning can become disorganized, confusing, and time consuming to document.


This application acts as a central location for learning, tracking, sharing and reflecting on topics related to a worker’s professional affiliation and/or interest.

One unique feature that I personally contributed to this project was the idea to integrate the native text message features so that users could track their projects in real time rather than retrospectively. We discovered that users who had the best of intentions to track their projects often didn't do so because of their busy lives.

Stage 2: Initial Sketching

After the development of an initial conceptual model, we: 

  • Re-examined the problem/challenge

  • Reviewed our user interview data

  • Developed task, acceptance, and evaluation criteria

  • Began brainstorming and sketching to develop our first prototype iteration for the application. 


Presentation of Prototype 1:

We presented the idea of telling a story through the creation of projects, where all project related learnings could be recorded as entries and aggregated to create a chronological narrative for that project at its completion.


We received feedback which included positive feedback on some ideas that we could develop further as well as opportunities to modify and other options to explore.


We analyzed the feedback that we received on our first iteration and developed the concept of storytelling further and leveraged mobile technology to allow users to track and record progress as it happens.


Stage 3: Prototype Iterations

We continued to iterate and improve our solution through 3 additional iterations.


Stage 4: Final SolutionUnistack App: Learning all in One Place

Presented to Human Factors and Ergonomics Society,  New England Chapter-  Gameful Design event




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