Game Changing: How you can transform client mindsets through play


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My slides from the 2006 IA Summit conference. Talks about design games.
Full audio + slides in WMV and QT format from the always awesome Bryce Johnson at

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  • Game Changing: How you can transform client mindsets through play

    1. 1. Game Changing How You Can Transform Client Mindsets Through Play Jess McMullin | nForm User Experience
    2. 2. Disclaimer <ul><li>A significant barrier to success on many consulting projects is lack of buy-in from business stakeholders. Sometimes this shortfall of support simply requires IAs to be fluent in the language of business and communicate the business benefits of a project. However, the challenge is often deeper when business stakeholders hold a mindset that doesn't appreciate the approach or objectives of a project. It's these mindsets that are often dismissed with a rejoinder that they just don't get it'. Instead of this abdication, IAs can actually change mindsets to increase project success. Changing mindsets takes more than talking with business people in their own language, it takes transformative experiences that make perspectives flexible and open to new views. These reframing experiences most often come through participation in successful projects, but this leads to a chicken-and-egg problem - how do we provide success with IA projects for an audience of people that are causing failure? The common answer is to run a pilot or prototype to tackle low-hanging fruit and build buy-in with a track record of success - but what happens when you don't have time, budget, or support for a pilot? One avenue for accelerating mindset change is playing design games. Games create low-risk situations that let stakeholders experience new perspectives, approaches, and methods without the time, expense, and commitment of a pilot. By scaling human-centered design principles and methods down to the level of games, we can rapidly expose entire teams to new ways of thinking, opening up their world views, and offering valuable perspectives that can bring new appreciation for IA to their mindset. This session will mix principles with examples to help IAs use games that can change business mindsets and develop increased buy-in for human-centered design and information architecture. Fundamental principles will lead to a discussion of various game options and outline how IAs can pitch games as a serious tool to facilitate project progress. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in some gameplay during the session. </li></ul>[Your Mileage May Vary]
    3. 4. Blue Sky Barrier
    4. 5. <ul><li>about buy-in </li></ul><ul><li>about games </li></ul><ul><li>games + you </li></ul>
    5. 6. The Tie and the Turtleneck
    6. 7. Turtleneck
    7. 8. Tie
    8. 10. User Faces
    9. 11. Develop Business Fluency
    10. 13. Conceptual Fluency
    11. 14. Cultural Fluency
    12. 15. Design Maturity
    13. 16. Reframing
    14. 17. Creating Shared References
    15. 20. [more deliverables] <ul><li>Persona </li></ul><ul><li>Sitemap </li></ul><ul><li>Wireframe </li></ul><ul><li>Web Analytics Roll-up </li></ul><ul><li>(removed) </li></ul>
    16. 21. BUT
    17. 24. We Need Better Shared References
    18. 25. My Mary _ Poppins Moment
    19. 26. “… you find the fun, and <snap> the job’s a game.”
    20. 27. about games
    21. 28. Why Games <ul><li>Game examples: board games, card games, roleplaying games, tag, sports, war </li></ul><ul><li>Games as rehearsal </li></ul><ul><li>Games across learning styles </li></ul><ul><li>Games tap tacit knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Games are fun </li></ul><ul><li>Games create a shared narrative that acts as a bridge for conversations </li></ul>
    22. 29. Objectives Constraints Outcomes Competition
    23. 31. Risks
    24. 32. Frogger Screen
    25. 33. games + you
    26. 34. 3 Approaches <ul><li>Modify Existing Activities For Play </li></ul><ul><li>Use Existing Games and Formats </li></ul><ul><li>Create New Games </li></ul>
    27. 35. Design Game Examples <ul><li>Design the Box </li></ul><ul><li>Improv </li></ul><ul><li>Interactionary / IA Slam / SlamCamp </li></ul><ul><li>MetaMemes </li></ul>
    28. 36. Participatory Design
    29. 37. Teamwork
    30. 38. Improv
    31. 39. Live Case Study
    32. 40. Live Case Study
    33. 41. Brainstorming - MetaMemes
    34. 42. Selling Games
    35. 43. Selling = Reframing
    36. 44. We’re going to work through a case study exercise.
    37. 45. Let’s Play A Game
    38. 46. <ul><li>We drew 5 Cards from MetaMemes Deck: </li></ul><ul><li>Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle </li></ul><ul><li>Gross Out </li></ul><ul><li>Anti Aging Gene </li></ul><ul><li>Connection </li></ul><ul><li>Swarm Intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>Now make banking relevant to a 10 year old boy by combining 2 terms to brainstorm an idea </li></ul>
    39. 47. Thank you! <ul><li>Jess McMullin </li></ul><ul><li>nForm User Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Blog: b plus </li></ul><ul><li>Web: </li></ul><ul><li>jess.mcmullin AT nForm DOT ca </li></ul>
    40. 48. References <ul><li>Kes Sampanthar, MetaMemes Designer </li></ul><ul><li>Rules of Play </li></ul><ul><li>Game Design Workshop </li></ul><ul><li>Brandt & Messeter (2004) Facilitating Collaboration through Design Games, Proceedings of the Participatory Design Conference. </li></ul>