Gamification involves implementing game design elements, principles, and strategies in non-gaming scenarios to captivate and inspire individuals to attain specific objectives, tackle challenges, or actively partake in various activities. During my prior employment, I adeptly harnessed gamification principles to elevate the understanding of character leadership and wellness, effectively heightening engagement and motivation among employees in the learning process.
When working at the Canada Revenue Agency, I worked closely with a group of UX designers who focused on designing a character leadership app. Following the Ivey School of Business's Leader Character Framework, we would design elements and activities that helped educate employees on the various character leadership dimensions.
Cavern Crawl is a multiple-choice questionnaire game where employees learn about the dimension of Transcendence while having their character travel and face obstacles of an ancient cavern.
Character Leadership App: Cavern Crawl
Users are presented with 10 scenarios where they must pick the answer that corresponds with transcendence
If their answer does not relate to transcendence they lose a heart and are explained why.
If it does, they are presented with a success animation of their character
Character Sprite sheets
To reduce file sizes and the loading time of the app, we would animate all our characters using sprite sheets which are significantly smaller easier to keep character customizations
At the end of the activity, users will see different end screens either telling them to try again or rewarding them with kudos that can go towards customizing their character
The concept of a wellness app is a crucial response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a surge in remote work and a notable decline in the physical and mental well-being of CRA employees. Recognizing this issue, the health and resources team at the CRA envisioned an app designed to support and motivate employees in their pursuit of improved physical and mental wellness, as well as the cultivation of healthy habits.
Wellness App: Goal Setting
The Goal-setting application was conceived as a space for employees to set and establish their own milestones, with the accomplishment of each milestone earning them well-deserved kudos.
These milestones are accompanied by descriptions, allowing employees to deeply understand the importance of each goal and the personal motivations driving them to work towards it. In addition to this goal reflection, users can create action plans, outlining the steps and tasks required to achieve their objectives. Completing these tasks is rewarded with smaller kudos for each completed item on the checklist. The application also includes an affirmation section, providing users with a means to self-encouragement through personal quotes and rewards, as well as access to inspirational quotes from other sources.
The wellness app's development also included the concept of a wellness journey for employees, though it was never fully realized. The mockups illustrate the intention to establish goals specifically tailored to the practice of mindfulness. Additionally, a section of the app was designated for meditation practice, reflecting a holistic approach to enhancing employee wellness and mental health.
Wellness App: Mindfullness Journey
The Scenarios activity was conceived to encourage employees to contemplate real-life workplace situations that call for effective leadership. By immersing users in scenarios where they step into the role of a team lead for a project, they are prompted to explore the diverse facets of character leadership. This approach prompts them to consider the multifaceted ways leadership can be exhibited when guiding a team, recognizing that there may be no universally correct or incorrect methods to do so.
Character Leadership App: Scenarios
Your team that you have been leading is starting a new project that presents many obstacles.
How would you handle this?
I would search for new ways to overcome the obstacles
I would look to others whom I admire for inspiration on how to overcome the obstacles
I would focus the team on how far we had come and thank them for their contributions
Your most experienced team member descided to retire before the project is compleated.
How would you handle this?
I would see this challenge as an opportunity to give a rising star on the team the chance to shine
I would seize the opportunity to celebrate them and their career
I would personally take on their work to avoid burdening the team
The project deadline is fast aproching and your team is loosing motivationt.
How would you handle this?
You ask what everyone's favorite baked good is and go out of your way to make them for the team
You remind the team of a previous project that encountered many challenges but they persevered
You set up a fun team outing so they remeber how much they value eachother and team work
End Wall Papers
Each answer to the three questions leads to a new potential end scenario of how the project finishes. Users are encouraged to replay the activity to unlock the 24 potential outcomes and collect the various backgrounds that they can keep and use.
In the design of the Character Leadership app, a gamified approach was adopted, where each of the 11 dimensions of character leadership found representation in the form of distinct islands for users to explore. Below, you'll find drafts and early concepts of these islands.
Character Leadership App: Island Designs
This design showcases a pixelated island where the user's character is transported by an air balloon, ascending through the island's levels. Upon achieving a perfect score on each level, the secret level with the rainbow becomes accessible.
In the second design, we explore a
paint-by-numbers island concept where each level corresponds to a designated section that becomes coloured in upon its successful completion. To enhance accessibility, especially for users with visual impairments or colour vision deficiency, the decision was made to incorporate design patterns in these sections rather than relying solely on colours.
After the creation of these mockups, it was determined that this template would be particularly fitting for the "Island of Transcendence," which focuses on the dimension of creativity. Here, each island section is thematically aligned with an art form, such as sculpture, music, drawing, and knitting, with the island's theme unveiled upon the level's successful completion.