Lately there has been lots of talk about a common misconception between user interface- and user experience design, which are really not the same thing at all. The key word between UI and UX is Experience. And the main reason why I am interested in UX is because game elements and mechanics are one hella good way to improve an experience. Once again, the game-part should not be just an added layer, though.

This cereal-graph   by Ed Lea  is a perfect way to explain UX-design in a fun way (and also to point out what the difference between UI and UX is).  If eating is the user experience, then where does the gamification part come in? One could think that the gamified elements or playfulness is a spice that UX-design can benefit from, like sugar. This would not be quite right though, because sugar is just an additional option for the user.  Gamification would rather be the thing that makes you actually want to eat the cereals, the certain taste that makes you love this special combination than just some additional taste.

Gamification and UX-design both aim for engaging people and altogether better user experience (and creating more cash flow), but they are not the same thing. They certainly work together well, though – and need one other. Gamification without user experience design would be quite clumsy. For user experience design, on the other hand, gamification can be just the right tool to tweak the experience more exciting and engaging. Some of us just like our cereals better with a superb taste.  😉