What If I Don’t – A Decision-Making Framework

Dont What If I Don 8217 t 8211 A Decision Making Framework

I want to discuss one of the decision making frameworks I use day to day. Unlike many, this takes a deliberately negative look at decision making. Rather than a lot of these things that look at “Imagine and manifest, if you want it, it will happen” or “Think of the good things that will happen if you do this now, rather than later”, this flips it and says “What if I don’t do this, what are the consequences and knock on effects”.

As an example of the two different ways of looking at a problem, let’s take my daughter tidying her room. Read More ...

What is the Best Gamification Framework?

Network 539757 1280 What is the Best Gamification Framework

Gamification frameworks, like many other industries, are all over the place. Everyone has one and probably argue theirs is the best. Hell, I’ve got loads dotted around the site!

But, which one is actually the best?

Well, none of them. They mostly have equal merit based on the context within which you wish to use them. Some, whether they admit it or not, are more suited to analyzing existing systems to gain insights, some are more suited to the practical design of solutions. Some are great at helping to define specific elements you may which to use, some, how to motivate specific groups of users and yet others how to actually run the whole project.

The point is, a framework is only as good as the use you put it to. If you rely on just one, you are likely to not achieve everything you could if you had used more or at least ones that are more suited to your specific needs at the time. Just like we keep telling clients, there is no such thing as “one size fits all”.

They are all tools in our toolkit and we should be familiar with what each is good at and what each is bad at to get the most out of them!

So what is the best gamification framework? All of them, depending on your needs and the context within which you will be using them!

Happy framework hunting peeps.


4 Simple Questions To Transform Your Gamification Implementation

WWWH 4 Simple Questions To Transform Your Gamification Implementation

It is simple to jump to solutioneering as soon as you feel you have a problem that needs fixing. However, taking a step back and asking 4 simple questions can save you time and money in the long run.

  1.  “What is the problem”
  2.   “Why do we need to fix it”
  3.   “What needs to change to fix it”
  4.   “How do we do that”

What is the problem?

First, you need to explore What you are wanting to change. This is the easy bit and is likely to change, but it is a start. Be as specific as you can, but be open minded as you explore further!

Most people already have this in mind when they first go to someone asking for gamification.

Why do we need to fix it?

I have spoken about this in the past, but it is so important that I like to bring it up from time to time. Read More ...

A Revised Gamification Design Framework

GDF Overview A Revised Gamification Design Framework

I have created various gamification design frameworks over the years and this is the latest.

It consists of three main phases; Define, Design / Build and Refine. Each phase contains iterative steps to consider as you build your solution.

Big thanks to Roberto M. Alvarez Bucholska for being a great sounding board for some of this!!


The discovery phase is all about unearthing the real problem that needs solving and then understanding more about the people you are solving it for. It consists of three mains steps.

Define the Problem

I have written about this in the past. What a client wants and what they need are often very different things. The issue they bring to you may be a symptom of something else. You have to dig and dig and dig until you can get to the actual problem that needs solving. This is a skill in itself, but remember to constantly ask Why?

Define the Users

Once you understand the problem, you have to understand the people who are going to be involved and using the system. The client may have one idea, but the people on the ground using it may have a totally different one. User research is a very under-rated part of solution design at times. You need to speak to them, run workshops with them and get to know them. Make the effort to understand them and you will be rewarded in heaven – or at least with positive feedback!

Define Success

What does winning look like for the client and for the users? Once you understand that, you need to decide what to record and measure to prove success (or disprove).


Design the User Journey

Now, designing the User Journey does straddle the define and design phases a little. However. the key here is to understand and start to build the concept of the experiences for each of the five phases of the User Journey; Discover, On-Board, Immerse, Master and Replay. You will revisit this during the design phase and you will add to it and probably take away from it – but it is an essential next step in the process.

Next, you are into the nuts and bolts of designing and building the experience. Initially, you will need to look at BMEM; Behaviour, Motivation, Emotion and Mechanics.


What is it you want your users to do? Some of this will have been addressed in the define phase, but now you need to go into a little more depth. What are the current behaviours and what do they need to be? Is there a large change needed?


What motivates the people. Again, you will have covered some of this in the define phase, but now you have to dive into it even further. Consider RAMP (relatedness, autonomy, mastery and purpose). Also, don’t forget rewards. A good balance of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards works very well!


What do you want the users to feel when they engage with your gamified system? Should they experience fear, fun, love, humour, family, schadenfreude etc? There are various frameworks out there to help with this, I have my own “Fun” framework, but any will do.


With everything else in place, you can start looking at the mechanics that will drive the system and engage your users. Will you need narratives, strategy, exploration or more?

Action / Feedback Loops

All of the previous phases lead into the Action / Feedback Loops for the system. This consists of a Call to action, leading to user action and feedback loops, then a system change and back to the start. You can see more about this here…

Call to Action

The call to action is the instruction or prompt given to the user to do something. This could be a message on their phone to go for a walk.

User Action

This is the action the user then has to take. In this case, go for a walk.


Whilst the user is doing the action, they are provided with feedback. In our walk example, this may be encouragement to keep going, or information about how far they have walked.

State Change

Eventually, something needs to change to keep the user engaged. This could be, in the case of our walker, an instruction to now walk further distances. In a game, this may be a difficulty increase. The state change then either leads to a new call to action, or straight backing to the Action / Feedback loop.


Finally, you need to iterate and refine your designs. You can do this as often as needed to get the results you desire.

Full Framework

Here is the full illustration. I will be integrating this all into my planner worksheet soon, but for now, I hope this has been interesting.