Shawn Sprockett’s thesis in 2013 was an education platform inspired by game design, which he called Semio. He has continued researching the influence of game design on interaction design and is writing regularly about design and data. (His latest article was on Big Data vs. Milton Glaser.) While at IBM, his collaboration with indie game developers in Austin culminated in a panel for SXSW 2015 called, “Design Perspectives on Meaningful Choice.”
Several hundred guests attended the talk, which started a dialogue around how designers can make users’ choices in interfaces feel meaningful. While different users will find meaning in different kinds of interactions, designers can employs tactics such as story, visual feedback, and mechanical variance to achieve emotion and satisfying play.
“There is not a hierarchy of meaningfulness,” Shawn said. “No one example we’ve looked at today is objectively more meaningful than another. Instead, designers should think of meaningfulness in pluralities — paths you might guide people down, toward feelings you’ve curated for them.”