1-2: Human-Focused Design vs Function-Focused Design

Yu-kai Chou
A free video tutorial from Yu-kai Chou
International Keynote Speaker & Author in Gamification
4.6 instructor rating • 1 course • 20,297 students

Lecture description

In this lecture students will learn about the differences between Human-Focused Design and Function-Focused Design. This will include why so many projects fail (they focus on function/efficiency as opposed to human motivation). 

After the lecture, students will be able to identify early signs of a failing project and be much more sophisticated in designing successful products, campaigns, and experiences.

Learn more from the full course

Gamification & Behavioral Design: The Octalysis Framework

Learn the 8 Core Drives that motivate us all (beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards)

02:47:54 of on-demand video • Updated February 2019

  • Understand how the brain works
  • How to trigger motivations
  • Be able to apply behavioral design to all sorts of aspects in their lives, such as fundraising, sales, team motivation, parenting, teaching, relationships, and more.
  • be able to identify the differences between White Hat Motivation (makes people feel powerful but not sense of urgency) and Black Hat Motivation (makes people feel urgent and obsessed, but leads to burn-out)
English [Auto] Hey there, welcome back to the Action Gamification online digital course, I'm Ukai Chao, and today we're going to talk about Section one, lecture two, which is about human focused design versus function focus design. So I believe that the center of gamification is what I call human focused design as opposed to function focus design. Most systems are function focused and assumes that people in the system will take the desired behavior. And it optimizes for efficiency, for usability, for ergonomics. It's kind of like a factory where you assume the people in the factory will do the work because you pay them to do it, and then you kind of figure out how to maximize your production, your efficiency, your workflow. Human focus design remembers that people in the system have feelings, have motivations, have insecurities, have reasons why they do do not want to do something and optimizes for that. So that's kind of like a theme park where you design it to be really, really fun. And then you can predict that people automatically want to line up for hours and hours just so they can enjoy the experience. Now, what's interesting about this is that in the case of a factory, you're paying these people to do them relatively mundane things of working in the factory. But in the case of human focus design in the theme park, people are paying you to stand in line for hours and hours so they can enjoy the experience. Now, the reason why we call this gamification is that I believe the gaming industry is the first to Master InFocus design because there's really no purpose to play the game. You never have to play a game. You have to do a lot of other things like do your taxes, do go to school, do your training, even if you don't like it, just kind of have to suck it up and do it. But again, you never have to play a game. The moment a game is no longer fun, you leave the game, you play another game, you go on YouTube, you go check your email. And so because the gaming industry has spent decades or even centuries, depending how you qualify game, to figure out how to get people to do relatively mundane, repetitive tasks like throwing at a bird, throwing out a bird, throwing out a bird, or matching three to matching three dimensional just over and over and over for three, four, five, six, seven hours a day when there's no mandated purpose at all. We're now learning from that discipline and that's what we call a gamification. And this is very useful. And understand when you're launching a new product or a new program, because almost by definition, your customers, your users don't need your program, your product. Right. Because they're life smoke before existed. So just because you're useful doesn't mean they're going to use it. They'll use it. It's motivating if it drives their engagement, if they're really interested, excited about it. Now, gamification has grown to be a big field. A lot of industries, companies, countries, departments are all using game to increase their behavior. But the problem is that still a lot of these game campaigns are failing. And the reason is because a lot of people are doing it backwards. A lot of people are very obsessed with the fancy things we call game mechanics or game elements, things like points, badges, leaderboards and to a greater extent, things like quests or narrative's level up. And they think that, oh, if I just take these game elements and put into my product, in my training program, in my health care system, in my exercise program, it automatically becomes fun and successful. And that doesn't really happen that way. So let's look at example from a bad game designer standpoint. A bad game designer might think, oh, so what game elements should I have in my game while we need monsters stores? Where can they go? We need friends. Well, how about we want Cowes? People can, you know, ten and have fun with. Oh, why not add some birds with attitude. Why not add some apps that she plants. Puzzle games are interesting. Let's add those and you can see here that a game can be extraordinarily stupid and boring, even if it has all the fun, exciting game elements in it. If you think about it, every single game in the market has game elements in them. But most games are still failures. Most games are not fun. So it's not practical to think that, hey, if I just take all these game elements that are even found in boring games and put into my system, I program my product, it automatically becomes fun and successful. It just doesn't have happened that way. And only a few well-designed games achieve mass success. So if you think about it from a good game designer standpoint, a good game designer may think instead of thinking about what game elements they want to use, they can start off thinking about how do I want my users to feel, you know, do I want them to feel proud? Do I want them to feel inspired, even scared in some horror games? And once they understand that, they understand, OK, what are the game elements? I need to accomplish that purpose to create those feelings. It could be Cowes, it could be monsters, could be swords. But the key here is that good gamification design does not start with a game. But it starts with the core drives that motivate us so soon we're going to learn about this framework in the next lecture and how the Aikau drives drive our behavior. So the exercise of the end of this lecture, I want you to identify something in your in your life that you use regularly that uses function, focus, design, which means that you just have to use it and it's functional. It's there there's technology. Perhaps you just have to use it, but you don't necessarily enjoy it. And then think about something in your life that you use daily. That's a human focus, that you just enjoy it, you love it. You have a hard time staying away from it. And think about what are the differences between these. So this concludes lecture two in the first section, and I'll see you in lecture three.