Putting the Fun in Functional

engine by eye d
engine by eye d

Another presentation that has been around for a while but I have only just discovered (thanks to Dave Briggs) is Putting the Fun in Functional by Amy Jo Kim which I have found really interesting and useful.

I’m not a gamer in any shape or form, never really liked them, although I did enjoy elements of the Wii and have fond memories of Paperboy from way back when. That said I recognize the human behavior outlined in the ‘Game Mechanics’ of the presentation; 1) Collecting 2) Points and Levels 3) Feedback 4) Exchanges and 5) Customization. In fact I’m pretty guilty of all of them – especially Collecting for my sins (and my bank balances pain).

It has been an interesting experiment going back to look at the features of both Specializein and HTH (the products I am overseeing at Jiva) in light of the concepts here and see how we have done. We do a pretty good job on embedding both the ideas of Points/Levels and Exchanges into the apps. In fact its not hard to argue that those elements are the foundation of what we have built. We are also building in some elements of Feedback as it seems to be defined within this presentation. This isn’t fully developed yet and could certainly do with a little more thought and evolution over time but it is not a bad start. Collecting and Customization have no parallels within either application at the moment nor in the product roadmap. Does this matter I find myself wondering. I’m loathe to add anymore features at the moment and while I can see a way of adding an element of Customization it isn’t really a road I want to travel down so I’m going to assume 3 out of 5 ain’t bad (in fact it is almost as good as Meatloaf!)

[photo is Creative Commons and was my favorite result for ‘mechanics’ from Compfight.com in case you were wondering]