John Ferrara is a user experience designer and the author of the book Playful Design, published by Rosenfeld Media. John has worked in UX design for fifteen years, and he’s been designing games that achieve great things in the real world since 2001. In 2010 he co-founded Megazoid Games, and his nutrition education game “Fitter Critters” was a top prizewinner in the 2010 Apps for Healthy Kids contest, awarded by Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign. You can follow John on Twitter at @playfuldesign.
The sibling disciplines of user experience design and electronic game design have grown increasingly intertwined in recent years. This is a great thing, because it creates opportunities for practitioners working in both fields to augment their design toolkits and forge new ways for people to derive satisfaction from their experience of technology.
Yet many real-world efforts to hybridize game and nongame have only illustrated the need for better approaches to be developed. With the gamification fad rapidly fizzling, now is an auspicious time for UX practitioners to reappraise the fundamental value that games can bring to their work, as well as the fundamental value that their work can bring to games.
As it would be for any well-designed game, the first priority of this workshop will be to have fun. Through the process of play, we will explore the qualities that make games worthwhile experiences while building a theoretical groundwork for their design. Teams of participants will build paper prototypes of games of their own design, and then conduct live playtesting of them with people from other teams.
Topics covered in the workshop will include:
● Attributes of games
● Elements of player experience
● Ideation and paper prototyping
● Principles of playtesting
● Games for motivating action
● Games for education
● Games for persuasion
Participants will come away from this unique experience with a new enthusiasm for the creative potential that games afford UX.