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Making Software Fun
Sarah Allen
@ultrasaurus
What is Fun?
Designing Fun Software
Play Work
amusing, entertaining, or enjoyable
source: google.com
late 17th century (denoting a trick or hoax):
from obsolete fun ‘to cheat or hoax,’
dialect variant of late Middle English...
– Raph Koster
“Fun is just another word
for learning”
– Raph Koster
“Fun is just another word
for learning
under optimal conditions.”
Relaxed Alertness
Low Threat
Sense of Well-being
Moderate to High Challenge
Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Bra...
Meaning
Autonomy
Mastery
Getting Gamification Right by Sebastian Deterding
Designing Software
– Frank Smith
“We are all capable of huge and
unsuspected learning
accomplishments without effort.”
Relaxed Alertness
Allows people to access what they already know
Willingness to Delay Gratification
Tolerate Ambiguity
Thi...
Know Your Users
Know Your Users
Use What They Know
Teach in Multiple Ways
Be Consistent, Trustworthy
Animation: From Cartoons to the User Interface
Bay-Wei Chang, David Ungar, 1995
“By offloading interpretation of changes t...
– Harry Marks
“If you don’t have a story
no amount of graphics and trickery
will make it interesting.”
Empower Your Users
Know Them, Use What They Know
Clear Conceptual Model
Many Ways to Learn
Consistent Narrative
Work
Play Work
Work Play
Anxiety is love’s greatest killer.
It creates the failures.
— Anaïs Nin
Space for Learning
Frameworks for Experimentation
Include Real People in Your Process
Bridge Foundry
Test Before You Are Ready
Test Before You Are Ready
Make People Part of Your Process
The Play Test is a Game
Rules for Play Testing
Shut up and Watch
Take Notes
Take Photos
Resist providing answers.
Ask questions.
Questions to Ask
What do you think this app is for?
What did you expect to happen?
Ask & Observe
Did you have fun? What part of it was fun?
Did you learn anything?
What, if anything, would you like to do a...
Empower Your Users
Know Them, Use What They Know
Clear Conceptual Model
Many Ways to Learn with Consistent Narrative
Empow...
hello@bridgefoundry.org
feedback@mightyverse.com
github.com/18F/open-data-maker
Sarah Allen
@ultrasaurus
Iterate. Celebrat...
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Making Software Fun

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July 2015, Brighton Ruby
Sarah Allen introduces some theories of play and how to apply these and other ideas from games to making other kinds of software fun, and then how our work can be influenced by ideas of play.

Published in: Technology
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Making Software Fun

  1. 1. Making Software Fun Sarah Allen @ultrasaurus
  2. 2. What is Fun? Designing Fun Software Play Work
  3. 3. amusing, entertaining, or enjoyable source: google.com
  4. 4. late 17th century (denoting a trick or hoax): from obsolete fun ‘to cheat or hoax,’ dialect variant of late Middle English fon ‘make a fool of, be a fool,’ source: google.com
  5. 5. – Raph Koster “Fun is just another word for learning”
  6. 6. – Raph Koster “Fun is just another word for learning under optimal conditions.”
  7. 7. Relaxed Alertness Low Threat Sense of Well-being Moderate to High Challenge Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain by Renate Nummela Caine, Geoffrey Caine
  8. 8. Meaning Autonomy Mastery Getting Gamification Right by Sebastian Deterding
  9. 9. Designing Software
  10. 10. – Frank Smith “We are all capable of huge and unsuspected learning accomplishments without effort.”
  11. 11. Relaxed Alertness Allows people to access what they already know Willingness to Delay Gratification Tolerate Ambiguity Think Creatively Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain by Renate Nummela Caine, Geoffrey Caine
  12. 12. Know Your Users
  13. 13. Know Your Users Use What They Know
  14. 14. Teach in Multiple Ways Be Consistent, Trustworthy
  15. 15. Animation: From Cartoons to the User Interface Bay-Wei Chang, David Ungar, 1995 “By offloading interpretation of changes to the perceptual system, animation allows the user to continue thinking about the task domain, with no need to shift contexts to the interface domain.”
  16. 16. – Harry Marks “If you don’t have a story no amount of graphics and trickery will make it interesting.”
  17. 17. Empower Your Users Know Them, Use What They Know Clear Conceptual Model Many Ways to Learn Consistent Narrative
  18. 18. Work
  19. 19. Play Work
  20. 20. Work Play
  21. 21. Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It creates the failures. — Anaïs Nin
  22. 22. Space for Learning Frameworks for Experimentation Include Real People in Your Process
  23. 23. Bridge Foundry
  24. 24. Test Before You Are Ready
  25. 25. Test Before You Are Ready Make People Part of Your Process
  26. 26. The Play Test is a Game
  27. 27. Rules for Play Testing Shut up and Watch Take Notes Take Photos Resist providing answers. Ask questions.
  28. 28. Questions to Ask What do you think this app is for? What did you expect to happen?
  29. 29. Ask & Observe Did you have fun? What part of it was fun? Did you learn anything? What, if anything, would you like to do again?
  30. 30. Empower Your Users Know Them, Use What They Know Clear Conceptual Model Many Ways to Learn with Consistent Narrative Empower Yourself Create a Fun Space for Learning Experiment Include Real People Early
  31. 31. hello@bridgefoundry.org feedback@mightyverse.com github.com/18F/open-data-maker Sarah Allen @ultrasaurus Iterate. Celebrate. Iterate. Celebrate

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