Title: Designing Enjoyable User Interfaces: Lessons learned from computer games
Context: The next time someone uses the word ???gamification??? don???t punch them in the face even though they obviously deserve it for using that word, instead explain to them that play is only part of the solution.
Synopsis: The idea du jour in user experience design is to turn everything into a game. Sure, why not? People like games. They are fun, encourage prolonged engagement, reward participation, provide challenges and all the other good and enjoyable things we like about sitting down to spend a few hours on some competitive pursuit. Now if only everyone had the time and motivation required to master games from one end of the day to the next. No, sometimes we don???t need a game, we need a tool. Tools differ from games in that they offer a straightforward ??? almost transparent ??? means of achieving a goal or completing a task. We don???t always have the luxury of ???playing??? with our environment. When your boss is breathing down your neck to meet your deadline, is that really the best time to start playing games? Probably not, which is why we should always try and cater for all types of users and workflows; from the goal oriented user who only needs to leverage a small subset of the full feature list, to the power user who approaches each interaction as a challenge needing to be solved. It is true that packing these different layers of functionality into a single system is by itself quite a challenge, but you guys like playing a good game now and again don???t you?
Best Bit: ???In a sense, a good game is intentionally made difficult to play, but a tool should be made as easy as possible to use.???