From Paths to Sandboxes

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This presentation shares the journey Ive been on, from trying to shape and influence a users path, to creating sandbox environments in which people can play and amaze us! ______ Designers are trained to guide users toward predetermined outcomes, but is there a better use of this persuasive psychology? What happens if we focus less on influencing desired behaviors and focus more on designing sandboxes: open-ended, generative systems? And how might we go about designing these spaces? Its still psychology applied to design, but in a much more challenging and rewarding way! In this talk, Ill share the journey Ive been on, from trying to shape and influence a users path, to creating these sandbox environments. Youll learn why systems such as Twitter, Pinterest, and Minecraft are so maddeningly addictive, and what principles we can use to create similar experiences. Well look at education and the work of Maria Montessori, who wrote extensively about how to create learning environments that encourage exploration and discovery. And well look at game design, considering all the varieties of games, especially those carefully designed to encourage play a marked contrast with progression games designed to move you through a series of ever-increasing challenges, each converging upon the same solution. Finally, well look at web applications, and Ill share how this thinking might influence your work, from how you respond to new feature requests to how you design for behavior change in a more mature way.

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From Paths To Sandboxes.@stephenanderson | #ias14 t PSYCHOLOGY &DESIGN How we can use to more fun, engaging (& effective) interactions PSYCHOLOGY &DESIGN How we can use to more fun, engaging (& effective) interactions Three games Ive been playing PATH SANDBOX Paths DIRECT THE RIDER (conscious thought) MOTIVATE THE ELEPHANT (automatic systems) SHAPE THE PATH (the environment) Paths are designed to lead people along, for better or worse. http://www.andeeknutson.com/studies/Shoppers%20and%20Products/11_AnExploratoryLookAtSupermarketShoppingPaths_2005.pdf Paths are prevalent in our work Customer Journey Maps, Service Blueprints, Scenarios Lockton, D., Harrison, D.J., Stanton, N.A. (2010). The Design with Intent Method: a design tool for inuencing user behaviour. Applied Ergonomics, Vol.41 No.3, 382-392. Behavioral Goals (which should align w/ User Goals!) Business Goals Psychology Behavioral Goals (which should align w/ User Goals!) Business Goals Psychology NEW SKILLS assistindeveloping HABITS assistinestablishing (orputtinganendto) COMPLETION nudgepeopletoward Paths arent necessarily bad, but PATHS SHAPE BEHAVIOR END IN AN EXCHANGE HAVE PREDICTABLE OUTCOMES ARE GAMES TO BE PLAYED DESIGN EVERY DETAIL ARE MEASURABLE LEAD TO COMPLETION LEAD PEOPLE ALONG ARE CONSUMPTIVE CREATE DEPENDENCY (ON DIRECTIONS) HAVE A CLEARLY DEFINED PURPOSE BEST FOR INSTRUCTION Is there something more? Sandboxes Sandboxes Why do so many people find these experiences maddeningly addictive?Q:Q: Why do so many people find these experiences maddeningly addictive?Q:Q: Pick one of these online experiences List WHY you think people find them addictive (list as many reasons as you can) You have 90 seconds GO! Why do so many people find these experiences maddeningly addictive?Q:Q: Pick one of these online experiences List WHY you think people find them addictive (list as many reasons as you can) You have 90 seconds GO! Set Completion Sequencing Appropriate Challenges Status Positive Mimicry Self-Expression Curiosity Collecting Autonomy Visual Imagery Pattern Recognition Feedback Loops Reputation Competition Achievements Status-Quo Bias Surprise Variable Rewards Scarcity What do all these experiences have in common?Q:Q: 2 OBSERVATIONS: 1. These are Platforms You can make of them what you want. There is no prescribed way to use these system. The WTF Problem. WhatsThisFor? The WTF Problem. Whats This For? 2 OBSERVATIONS: 1. These are Platforms You can make of them what you want. There is no prescribed way to use these system. 2. These are Social Spaces People learn from each other how to use the system. Many of the psychological nudges that follow stem from observing others. While MineCraft is a place for exploration and self-expression (perhaps survival!), its watching others that inspires new ideas and creates personal challenges. The hashtag in twitter was an emergent element. It wasnt until I saw my wife pinning decorating ideas that I saw Pinterest as a visual bookmarking system. A sandbox is a style of game in which minimal character limitations are placed on the gamer, allowing the gamer to roam and change a virtual world at will. In contrast to a progression-style game, a sandbox game emphasizes roaming and allows a gamer to select tasks. Instead of featuring segmented areas or numbered levels, a sandbox game usually occurs in a world to which the gamer has full access from start to finish. A sandbox game is also known as an open-world or free-roaming game. http://www.techopedia.com/denition/3952/sandbox-gaming Sandboxes create open spaces for self- directed play and creativity. Childrens toys and organization: Childrens toys and organization: Architecture: Adventure Playground A castle, made of carton, rocks and old branches, by a group of children for themselves, is worth a thousand perfectly detailed, exactly finished castles, made for them in a factory. And the proposed solution: Set up a playground for the children in each neighborhood. Not a highly finished playground, with asfalt and swings, but a place with raw materials of all kindsnets, boxes, barrels, trees, ropes, simple tools, frames, grass, and waterwhere children can create and re- create playgrounds of their own. I am convinced that standardised playgrounds are dangerous, just in another way: When the distance between all the rungs in a climbing net or a ladder is exactly the same, the child has no need to concentrate on where he puts his feet. Standardisation is dangerous because play becomes simplified - Helle Nebelong PATHS SHAPE BEHAVIOR END IN AN EXCHANGE HAVE PREDICTABLE OUTCOMES ARE GAMES TO BE PLAYED DESIGN EVERY DETAIL ARE MEASURABLE LEAD TO COMPLETION LEAD PEOPLE ALONG ARE CONSUMPTIVE CREATE DEPENDENCY (ON DIRECTIONS) HAVE A CLEARLY DEFINED PURPOSE BEST FOR INSTRUCTION SANDBOXES CREATE ENGAGEMENT END IN LEARNING & DISCOVERY HAVE UNKNOWN OUTCOMES ARE SPACES IN WHICH TO PLAY UNDERSPECIFY THE DESIGN ARE OBSERVABLE LEAD TO UNDERSTANDING LET PEOPLE EXPLORE ARE GENERATIVE ENCOURAGE AUTONOMY PURPOSE IS SELF-DETERMINED BEST FOR PEFORMANCE Education The jockey offers a piece of sugar to his horse before jumping into the saddle, the coachman beats his horse that he may respond to the signs given by the reins; and, yet, neither of these runs so superbly as the free horse of the plains. MARIA MONTESSORI we have prepared the environment and the materials MARIA MONTESSORI Mixed age classrooms Specialized educational materials Student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options Uninterrupted blocks of work time A Constructivist or "discovery" model, where students learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction Playing is learning. Googles founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin Amazons Jeff Bezos Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales Julia Child rapper Sean P.Diddy Combs videogame pioneer Will Wright Montessori taught me the joy of discovery Its all about learning on your terms, rather than a teacher explaining stuff to you. SimCity comes right out of Montessori videogame pioneer Will Wright Amazons Jeff Bezos Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales Julia Child rapper Sean P.Diddy Combs Googles founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin We both went to Montessori school, and I think it was part of that training of not following rules and orders, and being self-motivated, questioning whats going on in the world, doing things a little bit differently. A sandbox education teaches you to play at life. Human beings have an inherent tendency to seek out novelty and challenges, to extend and exercise their capacities, to explore, and to learn. Edward Deci psychologist EQUATE TO INFORMAL (NON-INSTITUTIONAL) LEARNING VIEW STUDENTS AS VESSELS TO BE FILLED VIEW STUDENTS AS FIRES TO BE KINDLED SANDBOXESPATHS EQUATE TO FORMAL (INSTITUTIONAL) LEARNING SPECIFY PERFORMANCE GOALS LEAD TO LEARNING CHALLENGES Getting an A in French Learning to speak French EQUATE TO INFORMAL (NON-INSTITUTIONAL) LEARNING VIEW STUDENTS AS VESSELS TO BE FILLED VIEW STUDENTS AS FIRES TO BE KINDLED SANDBOXESPATHS EQUATE TO FORMAL (INSTITUTIONAL) LEARNING SPECIFY PERFORMANCE GOALS LEAD TO LEARNING CHALLENGES Getting an A in French Learning to speak French FALSEDICHOTOMY ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Normally, learning in CodeSpells is encouraged by way of a series of quests that must be completed with the use of Java-based spell crafting [In our version], players could walk up to in-game gnome-like characters who would give various spells to the player, along with simple explanations. Our hope was that these spells would serve as starting points for code exploration. from On the Nature of Fires and How to Spark Them When Youre Not There LEGO BRICKS LEGO BRICKS buthowis thisuseful? Practical Takeaways Underspecify features Thank Kars Alfrink for this one! As a user I want a way to flag interesting tweets for reviewing later or As a user I want a way to give kudos to people for sharing something interesting. or As a user I want a way to save positive tweets for later use as testimonials or? As a (user role), I want (function) so that (benet) Practical Takeaways Avoid long workflows. (AKA Short Paths vs Long Paths) Practical Takeaways Build and consume your own APIs A SANDBOX, AT DIFFT LEVELS SCRIPTING LAYER / ABILITY ADD MODS INTERFACE LAYER API / DATA LAYER OPEN SOURCE THE CODE BASE Practical Takeaways Back off. Let people make mistakes and learn through trial and error. Practical Takeaways Direct Manipulation is best! (AKA No more wizards!!) Practical Takeaways Help people understand through Playful Interactions http://vimeo.com/36579366 Watch this! The approach to teaching without words that Im proposing makes heavy use of interactivity and instant informative feedback. http://www.creativitypost.com/education/teaching_without_words STMath SANDBOXESPATHS SHAPE BEHAVIOR CREATE ENGAGEMENT END IN AN EXCHANGE END IN LEARNING & DISCOVERY HAVE PREDICTABLE OUTCOMES HAVE UNKNOWN OUTCOMES ARE GAMES TO BE PLAYED ARE SPACES IN WHICH TO PLAY DESIGN EVERY DETAIL UNDERSPECIFY THE DESIGN ARE MEASURABLE ARE OBSERVABLE LEAD TO COMPLETION LEAD TO UNDERSTANDING LEAD PEOPLE ALONG LET PEOPLE EXPLORE ARE CONSUMPTIVE ARE GENERATIVE CREATE DEPENDENCY (ON DIRECTIONS) ENCOURAGE AUTONOMY HAVE A CLEARLY DEFINED PURPOSE PURPOSE IS SELF-DETERMINED BEST FOR INSTRUCTION BEST FOR PEFORMANCE SANDBOXESPATHS SHAPE BEHAVIOR CREATE ENGAGEMENT END IN AN EXCHANGE END IN LEARNING & DISCOVERY HAVE PREDICTABLE OUTCOMES HAVE UNKNOWN OUTCOMES ARE GAMES TO BE PLAYED ARE SPACES IN WHICH TO PLAY DESIGN EVERY DETAIL UNDERSPECIFY THE DESIGN ARE MEASURABLE ARE OBSERVABLE LEAD TO COMPLETION LEAD TO UNDERSTANDING LEAD PEOPLE ALONG LET PEOPLE EXPLORE ARE CONSUMPTIVE ARE GENERATIVE CREATE DEPENDENCY (ON DIRECTIONS) ENCOURAGE AUTONOMY HAVE A CLEARLY DEFINED PURPOSE PURPOSE IS SELF-DETERMINED BEST FOR INSTRUCTION BEST FOR PEFORMANCE To quote Kathy Sierra which of these will help users kick ass? The BIG Practical Takeaway: One Last Practical Takeaway we have prepared the environment and the materials MARIA MONTESSORI Environment Objects Rules we have prepared the environment and the materials MARIA MONTESSORI The idea for knowledge games [came] from watching people at the cutting edges of new disciplines; people who are entrepreneurs, creators, designers and innovators. Watching them work, watching them play, and sometimes having difficulty telling the difference. Dave Gray PlayingatLife! How do you approach LIFE? Like a Path to follow, or a Sandbox in which to play? What we learned from that project then allowed us to ?? (WETA DOCUMENETARY) Play is the answer to how anything new comes about. JEAN PIAGET My book proposal Yes, this was my book proposal! Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. TOM ROBBINS QUOTES (AMERICAN NOVELIST. B.1936) Q:Are you designing Paths or Sandboxes? Q:Are you designing Paths or Sandboxes? Are you following a path or playing in a sandbox? Thank you! getmentalnotes.com Design for Understanding Stephen P. Anderson @stephenanderson www.poetpainter.com | www.slideshare.net/stephenpa http://leapfrog.nl/blog/archives/2008/11/17/a-playful-stance-my-game-design-london-2008-talk/ http://www.slideshare.net/dings/paideia-as-paidia-from-gamebased-learning-to-a-life-wellplayed See also: The cutting room oor: http://www.dvice.com/archives/2012/10/ethiopian_kids.php What happens if you give a thousand Motorola Zoom tablet PCs to Ethiopian kids who have never even seen a printed word? Within ve months, they'll start teaching themselves English while circumventing the security on your OS to customize settings and activate disabled hardware. Whoa. The One Laptop Per Child project started as a way of delivering technology and resources to schools in countries with little or no education infrastructure, using inexpensive computers to improve traditional curricula. What the OLPC Project has realized over the last ve or six years, though, is that teaching kids stuff is really not that valuable. Yes, knowing all your state capitols how to spell "neighborhood" properly and whatnot isn't a bad thing, but memorizing facts and procedures isn't going to inspire kids to go out and learn by teaching themselves, which is the key to a good education. Instead, OLPC is trying to gure out a way to teach kids to learn, which is what this experiment is all about. The mind, basically, is a pattern-seeking machine We tend to seek patterns and then we tell stories about them. I think were pretty much conditioned to look for a pattern and to try to interpret it in terms of certain stories. the native and unspoiled attitude of childhood, marked by ardent curiosity, fertile imagination, and love of experimental inquiry, is near, very near to the attitude of the scientific mind. -John Dewey 'Fun from games arises out of mastery. It arises out of comprehension. It is the act of solving puzzles that makes games fun. With games, learning is the drug.' -Raph Koster x