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Leveling up gamification: technologies & strategies for more effective gamification design

Matallaoui, Amir

Gamification is broadly defined as the use of game elements in non-game contexts. Its development within various contexts spanning information systems to serious games has recently gained a wide adoption due to promising behavioral and psychological improvements. However, being generally deployed on top of existing systems, gamification usually brings an additional layer of complexity to the actual task. This complexity mostly induces a cognitive overload that hinders gamification to be perceived and the pursued objectives to be achieved. It is argued in this work that applying proven design theories and taking account of the gamification aesthetics is crucial for easing the induced cognitive load. Further in this dissertation, two new technologies that were developed within the scope of this thesis are introduced. In addition to assisting gamification designer with applying given design theories, these innovative technologies would help industries, struggling with the high efforts of integrating gameful affordances, achieve more effective gamification, decrease factors such as project costs, development cycles, and resource consumption as well as improve the product quality. To validate our arguments and evaluate the introduced technologies, different empirical studies have been conducted, in which different persons with different ages and backgrounds have participated. The outcomes of these studies have shown that for gamification to be well perceived and to achieve the pursued engagement and motivation objectives, it is indeed crucial for gamification designers to base their implementations on well-sustained design guidelines. Moreover, the introduced technologies were overall assessed as very apt.