design process

Gamification is a user-centred process

Gamification can be a powerful tool when applied correctly. At PentaQuest, we have a unique approach to gamification that draws on world leading thinking in psychology, behavioural economics, design thinking and complex systems.


The PentaQuest gamification design methodology incorporates all of these fields, as well as a business change component, to ensure that gamification is successful. Our methodology is based in leading edge research and academic literature, as well as many years practical experience in working with teams. 

Optimising user experience

and business viability

Gamification is inherently focussed on the user and their ideal experience for engagement, performance and fun. Equally, it is about addressing the need of the business and working to achieve objectives. It is in this way that gamification differs from games, serious games, game-based learning and simulations - gamification is about a deep connection and integration of the game and the real world.

Successful gamification requires the optimisation of three things:

1/ The user experience

First and foremost, the gamification intervention needs to address a human need. The focus should be on creating a fun and delightful experience that is relevant to the user.

2/ Business need

The gamification needs to achieve business objectives, and integrate the business needs with individual's motivations in a meaningful way. The mechanics, dynamics and aesthetics used need to align with the culture and vision of the organisation.

3/ Practicality

While we gamification designers would love to gamify everything (!), the reality is that the solution needs to be viable for the business. This is both in terms of the project budget and time, and the ongoing sustainability of the gamification solution. Great designers know how to balance what is desirable with what is practical and achievable.

The PentaQuest Gamification Design System

Our approach to gamification design is in two stages of diverging and converging. When we diverge, we are exploring possibilities and ideas and asking disruptive questions that leads to break-through ideas. When we converge, we are evaluating the options and making design decisions based on desirability, possibility and viability. 

The first stage is about developing the blueprint for the gamification, and the second stage is about building and implementing the solution. These are joined by a lean design experimentation phase, which can be iterated as often as needed for the size of the gamification solution being created. 

The 5 steps
of gamification design

The 5 steps to gamification design are:


Define the desired future state for the behavioural and cultural change, and how this aligns with the business objectives. can increase.


Clarify the target behaviours and activities being gamified. This can include daily irritants to strategic imperatives, and how these could be gamified as part of business interactions. 


Create a concept for the gamified solution.  Undergo an iteration and prototyping phase, where the proposed gamification solution is tested with users. Learn lessons and improve the design.


Prepare the team and organisation for the introduction of gamification, including how to build engagement and excitement prior to the release.


Monitor and evaluate the gamification solution for effectiveness and experience, and introduce new features.

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