A Simple Gamification Framework / Cheat Sheet

There is a new simplified version of my framework called GAME that can be found here


As well as GAME, there is now the EEEE User Journey framework available here


Here is a run down of my basic frameworks – lots more to come soon!

Gamification frameworks 2014 A Simple Gamification Framework Cheat Sheet
Outline of my Frameworks

The original framework

Basically this is a take on many other peoples attempts at defining a simple framework (I read about Kevin Werbach’s D6 framework the day after my presentation for example). It has no clever abbreviations or acronyms (WWW HATTAR seems daft). How about the 4×4 Framework. 4 x I know and 4 x I have 😀

Gamification framework11 A Simple Gamification Framework Cheat Sheet

Click the image above to download the Framework as a PDF

The first part is a series of 8 questions to ask yourself as you embark on your gamification adventures. I have it printed on my wall in the office.

  1. WHAT is being gamified
    • You must be totally sure what the activity(s) is that you are going to gamify.
  2. WHY is it being gamified
    • Just as important as what is why. What do you hope to gain from this project?
  3. WHO are the users

    • Who are your users? You need to know that to be really able to engage with them. Check out the User Types.
  4. HOW is it being gamified
    • Once you know What, Why and Who, it is time to work out what you are going to do to gamify it all. What elements and ideas will work best for you system? Are you going to employ rewards or are you going to work purely with intrinsic motivators it will be different every time.
  5. ANALYTICS are set up
    • You have to have metrics and analytics of some form – otherwise, how do you measure success, check it is working, find choke points and also report back to people!?
  6. TESTED with users
    • You must test anything like this with the target audience. They are the ones who will be involved, not you and the designers.
  7. ACTED / ITERATED on feedback
    • Collecting feedback from testing is only beneficial if you actually act upon it. If the players hate your favourite idea, you have to get rid of it!
  8. RELEASED the solution
    • Finishing and releasing are different. Silently pushing your new system out there is pointless. Make some noise about it, get people on board before they have even seen it!

You can repeat 6 and 7 in a loop as much as needed, then you need to repeat all the steps from 5 to 8 on a regular basis. Collect feedback and iterate improvements and add new elements to keep it interesting.

The second part of that slide is a little list of things to remember about gamification.

  1. Think like a games designer
    • Like it or not, you are now part games designer. As Jesse Schell says, to be a games designer just say to yourself “I am a games designer”
  2. Try to make it voluntary
    • Volunteers make much better players than those forced!
  3. Plan for CHEATERS
    • Plan for cheaters, it is in some humans nature to try and cheat the system – especially if there is an extrinsic reward at stake
  4. INTRINSIC > extrinsic
    • Intrinsic motivation is always more powerful than extrinsic. That said, at times extrinsic motivation may be all you have to get a system kick-started – but you cannot rely on it for long.
  5. Don’t be EVIL
    • Don’t be evil. This is not your opportunity to use the people in your new gamified system – they will catch you out and reject the system.
  6. Remember the FUN
    • Try to remember that a bit of fun (however you wish to describe it) can make almost anything a little more bearable.
  7. Be SOCIAL
    • Playing alone is fine, but playing with other people is always better. Social mechanics are essential for long term engagement.

Infographic to illustrate all of this

Gamification infographic large11 A Simple Gamification Framework Cheat Sheet

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27 thoughts on “A Simple Gamification Framework / Cheat Sheet”

  1. Hi, great blog. I wanted to know if you have more explanatory text on your original framework. Not just on hexad but on all 8 steps. Maybe a practical example with your original framework on one existing project, to have a better understanding of your framework. I would really appreciate it. Thank you.

  2. Is there an explanation as to why the last framework is as such? We are planning to use that framework for our thesis about gamification. And also, I am really curious and interested about this topic.:)

  3. How do you perform user test on a gamified enterprise application? All the frameworks I can find seem to be very focused on the game experience where I am also focused on traditional UX test regarding usability and user feedback on performing the actual work task and not just “playing the game”. For enterprise applications you would want the employees to perform a task quicker or more reliable. How do you ensure that they are actually working and not just playing a game – and that performing the work task with a gamified application provides more value than without the gamification?

    • There is no short cut to that, it all comes down to testing and then metrics. As you say, you want the users working – be it more effectively or efficiently etc.

      Based on pain points you know of, gamification can potentially help. You have to work out the problem, make the solution (or at least a working test demo) and then test it – same as any software deployment.

      Then you can focus on tweaking as you gather more data on how the gamification has helped – or not.

      • Thanks for your reply. I have some additional questions:
        If you do not already have an app, would you first develop the app to function perfectly and then gamify or would you develop for gamification? And do you follow a standard design cycle for the development and just add your framework to it, or do you have a special design cycle for developing gamified products?
        How is your chronological order of your work process, from idea to finished product?

        • If I was to develop an app from scratch (not something I have gamification experience with yet). I would design it with gamification in mind for sure. It is the same process though, identify what in the app you wish to gamify and why, then look at what will work best for certain users.

          Now, gamification is not a replacement for good initial design, so I would not look at an app design, think this bit is going to cause people pain – i’ll gamifiy it. I would want to change that bit of the app so that it didn’t cause pain in the first place.

          If the app is going to get people doing grinding tasks, then definitely design gamification aspects into it from the beginning, that way they are integrated into the user experience and not just an after thought.

          Again, the way you do it won’t change – just when you do it. The basic design process of any software should follow the above cycle – the gamification part of it should be part of it.


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