November got off to a very exciting start for the Virti team; not only did several of our US-based colleagues travel to Bristol for in person (!) meetings, but we ran our very first Design Workshop.
This event saw 14 enthusiastic colleagues come together to share ideas and combine brain power, resulting in many interesting conversations and some in-depth product discovery.
Hosted in a Bristol co-working space, the goal of the workshop was to progress the gamification ideas from our most recent Jam week into high fidelity designs for implementation across the Virti platform.
Phase 1: Ideation
During the first part of the workshop, the whole group came together to discuss exactly how to introduce gamification to the Virti platform.
Our primary aim was to promote best learning outcomes and increase daily active users whilst creating a genuinely enjoyable experience.
We explored ideas including levelling systems, user rewards, daily streaks and learner goals, and then considered how data and metrics could be best made visible to student users and administrators. The fact that we had team members from every part of the company involved was a real benefit here, as it allowed us to break outside of our normal channels of thinking and work more creatively.
Phase 2: Evaluation
After we’d generated lots of exciting ideas, the next thing to do was to submit them all to critical evaluation. We systematically went through the options, deciding whether they were achievable and in scope for this project, or whether they were more appropriate for other (or future) project streams. As hard as it was to let go of some of our most adventurous suggestions, keeping a tight focus was important if we were to bring any of our ideas to completion on the day of the workshop.
Phase 3: Solution building
As the day flew onwards, we entered the third and most interesting phase of the workshop: solution building. The group split into mixed teams, each one guided by someone who’d previously worked on the gamification project during the Jam (and therefore had prior specific knowledge).
In our small teams we worked quickly and closely to start finding solutions to the challenges we had outlined during the previous phases of the workshop.
Team 1, The Teamagotchis, focused on how progress tracking could be implemented most effectively to motivate users. They also looked at how, where and when student users should earn Experience Points (XP, points that contribute to a user’s ‘levelling up), and how competitions between student users could be structured and leveraged to drive engagement.
Team 2, Oskar and the Origamis, focused on understanding how a user may actually gain XP to level up, as well as looking into ways through which they could increase the number of daily active users (DAU) and encourage people to stay active on the platform for longer. An example idea of this was, playing consecutive simulations in a short period of time would increase the amount of XP earned over that period. This would accelerate the speed in which a user levelled up.
So what are the next stages to ensure our gamification workshop ideas become fruitful?
After this fantastic workshop, we now have several well-formed solutions ready to be taken forward to the next stage of the gamification project. First actions include the creation of a Miroboard to explore viability, relevance and priority, and the in-depth mapping of user journeys, golden paths and user flows. Watch this space to see how the finished product evolves!
Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who was involved in the organisation and delivery of the workshop, and especially to the project leaders Peter Zwiebel and Will Cottrell.