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Anthony Bertuzzi - Research is a game: Play and perception in design research

Anthony Bertuzzi - Research is a game: Play and perception in design research

We explore an emerging approach to design research that can liberate our research participants from the confines of reality to a new, virtual space of limitless possibilities.



March 17, 2022

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  1. Play and Perception in Design Research Anthony Bertuzzi Symplicit

  2. The Navigation Canvas Navigation Canvas by Jeroen van Erp. The

    Delft Design Guide. 2020. Interviews Usability testing Requirements gathering Personas Archetypes Ethnography Journey maps Brainstorming Prototyping for experimentation Business model generation
  3. “We create through imagination and we can imagine - if

    we want to - through play.” Bernard de Koven. Image bySonya Lynne via Unsplash.
  4. “Based on our experience of the world around us, our

    mind constructs only images of possibility. If something seems impossible, it may also be unimaginable. Once we have the capability to form images in our mind, we can define the capability needed to bring them to life - to enable them as technologies.” Alexander Manu Image by Dig Intent. 2022.
  5. The potential of play

  6. Encourage collaboration Participants can feel a heightened sense of connectedness

    through shared experience. It can help forge new bonds, strengthen existing ones and break down barriers and gather subjective and collective interpretations.
  7. Generate ideas Use game materials, narrative and scene setting to

    transport participants into a novel game space to free their thinking and inspire creativity. It can help to use game materials to reinforce this sense of novelty and provoke interesting responses.
  8. Teach something When participants roleplay unfamiliar situations, scenarios or imagine

    they are a different person, they can develop increased empathy. Encourage participants to demonstrate new behaviours. Moderators can help guide play and this opens up opportunities for teachable moments.
  9. Create something Giving participants constraints, materials, an objective and a

    creative license can inspire to experiment, innovate and invent. Or to invent as means to overcome a challenge.
  10. Simulation and Roleplay for education Juliette Watson via Unsplash.

  11. Prototyping for business experimentation Screenshot: The Founder. FilmNation Entertainment.

  12. Co-creation for community engagement in urban planning The Block by

    Block Foundation. https://www.blockbyblock.org Accessed: 15 March 2022.
  13. Material driven design for product innovation ‘Edible ‘Plywood’ Crushed ramen

    noodles + tempered chocolate Baking Impossible, Netflix. 2021.
  14. The Game Transfer Effect Game Transfer Effect. Persuasive Design Games.

    Visch et al., 2013 Diagram taken from The Delft Design Guide (2020).
  15. 1. Identify your players Know your audience. Understand their contexts.

    Their needs, preferences, familiarity with games, any sensitivities to certain topics, their values and capabilities are all pertinent factors.
  16. 2. Define the intended effect The game should have a

    purpose. Establish your research goal and the intended transfer effect up front. Ask yourself: What are you trying to find out? This will guide your rules for play.
  17. 3. Create your game Research your game concept. Cast a

    wide net and keep an open mind. Great ideas can come from anywhere – film, tv, books and board games are all great places to look. One you have your concept, it’s time to prepare for play. Design your prototype, test and refine.
  18. 4. Play the game with your audience Observe and document

    insights. Observe energy levels and be prepared to moderate the play. Be sure your players feel safe and happy.
  19. 5. Evaluate the outcome What did we learn in our

    observations? Did this game achieve its intended effects? How could we improve next time?
  20. “We fail to facilitate fun because we don’t take things

    seriously. Not because we take them too seriously. It takes devotion and enthusiasm.” - Ian Bogost Allen Taylor via Unsplash.
  21. Thank you