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Methodology

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Prototyping Framework

To develop web+mobile applications many different methodologies and frameworks are used. All those methodologies and frameworks help to turn ideas into MVPs at the beginning, and then in products such as web applications, mobile apps and plugins. For many years software developers have been working with Agile development methodologies like SCRUM , Agile or LEAN. The goal of those methods is to evolve the product development basing on the continuous feedback from the software users.

Our dilemma appeared when we started to develop gamified applications. We wanted our applications being full of the gaming spirit from the very beginning. We also wanted to introduce from the very early stages of the development the importance of the market analysis and the idea’s innovation potential. Regarding market analysis tools we already knew the well-known

Business Model Canvas. To go deeper in the level of innovation of the idea we discovered a very powerful framework, the Consumer Trend Canvas, created by Trendwatching, which uses a board-guide that helps us to focus on basic user needs and expectations. The Consumer Trend Canvas, is more than a board to help marketer to know their customers, is a complete framework to generate ideas for innovation also incorporating contextual elements.

So we already had the Business Model Canvas to establish potential business models, the Consumer Trend Canvas to understand the needs and motivations of users, and a bunch of lean software developement methodologies. It looked great, didn’t it?. Well, unfortunately not. Developing gamified applications is a big stuff. You have to regard your application users as players, which is radically different. You also would need a deeper understanding of the user’s motivational factors. In that situation we discovered the Gamification Model Canvas (GMC). The GMC, designed by Sergio Jimenez, is based on formal models of game design and project experience gamification,  and on the Business Model Canvas as well. We started working with the GMC, firstly with the initial release and then with the evolutive version developed by Sergio Jimenez & GECON applying it to some of our gamified software prototypes.

But integration was not so easy. We had the tools but we didn’t not know when at prototyping cycle should we use each one of them. We also lack of experience and didn’t know the level of depth required to a successful use of each tool. This situation led us to consider the creation our own methodology to develop gamified software prototypes.It is a prototyping framework which help us to determine the times and uses for each specific tool. A prototyping framework that reflects our R&D process, including both the market perspective and the innovation approach from the very beginning.

The first release of the prototyping framework arrived by the spring of 2015 and we began its application in our new prototypes, such as X-Badges o ETUR2020. Some of the lessons that sooner learnt are collected in this blog. We are now synthesizing those early experiences, and working in a second version of the framework.


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