What to do when designing for a diverse workforce?

In gamification design for business, you often have to consider a variety of nationalities, gender and age groups. In the first place you do user research around the preferences and behaviours of the whole organisation. The purpose of the research is to find out what kind of player types you have in the organisation and to find out the similarities and differences.

Let the majority profiles that come out of your user research, be a key driver for your design. Typically in any one organisation we find 2 prevailing player styles to be the majority. In this case having branched option for both big groups is how we would work. You leave the choices of which track to take up the the employees themselves. The similarities found can provide story narratives, game play ideas and a guiding thread of what is already alive in the company. We have yet to find a situation where you don’t find majority player types and similarities.

When user research doesn’t give you anything to work with, then the organisational culture can offer good ideas for gamification design. Because the employees have already chosen the organisation as their place of work, these influences are good starting points. If you have an inspirational leader, a founder story, a company set of values, which are bought into across the organisation, then that could be your gamification inspiration.

Certain job roles often attract specific player types, where possible segment your audience accordingly and allow for a branch or track to let these groups play their way. In a strong IT driven organisation, the kind of gamification design will often need to be peer or expert reviewed, think Stack Overflow style earning of reputation based on quality of answers to complex coding questions. In a sales driven organisation, where you find a lot of deal hunters, the gamification around closing the deal and the behaviour process to get to the deal should form part of any sales scoring or leaderboard system.

The key in my view is to identify meaningful groups, to separate out relevant game play to achieve the purpose or objective of having it in the first place. For company wide initiatives in a multinational, you will always need to allow for different user journeys, designing each separately and always off course testing it with the specific target groups.

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