Sponsored Master's Project

Gamifying the Workday

An enterprise product that motivates case workers to level up in their career.

Team

2 Graduate Students

Responsibilities

Interaction Design
Game Design

Tools

Figma

Timeline

4 weeks (Fall 2022)

Summary

Reducing employee burn out with game theory principles

During my graduate interaction design course, I worked with a classmate to design a gamified workday experience for case workers at ACME, a fraud detection company. After a wave of case worker resignations, ACME sponsored this project to explore opportunities to encourage and support their employees.

Our game design introduces pay bonuses, paths to career advancement, and head-to-head competitions to make case work meaningful and motivating for ACME employees.

Disclaimer: The designs, content, and experiences portrayed are purely conceptual and not guaranteed to be built in their full actuality. Furthermore, "ACME" is a codename for the project during the visioning phase and will not be used in-market.

Problem

Case workers face a repetitive and increasing workload

Case workers make recommendations on fraud claims around the clock, handling as many as 100 cases per week. Most cases in their queue follow the same steps, which can lead to boredom and burn out.

Lately, case workers are resigning in droves, costing ACME training and hiring expenses and burdening the remaining employees with a growing backlog of cases.

Project Goal

Motivate case workers to stay at ACME

Case workers are resigning because they don't see a clear path to success in their career: they want to know that their day-to-day efforts will be recognized and pay off in the long run.

My classmate and I identified key case worker motivations to leverage with our game design: career growth and impact at ACME.

Adam - Case Worker

Goals

  • See how their daily efforts influence their career growth
  • Earn a high NPS for themselves and their team
  • Communicate suspicious activity trends across cases

Pain Points

  • Not seeing their impact at ACME
  • Increasing workload as their coworkers resign
  • Seeing rule changes and trends in real time

Marc - Manager

Goals

  • Ensure case workers are taking all the required steps in their cases
  • Meet business KPIs and client agreements
  • Share trends with the data science team to improve AI models

Pain Points

  • Retaining case workers
  • Reassigning cases to balance workloads
  • Communicating rule changes that impact recommendations

Process

Apply game theory to the ACME workflow in 3 steps

Game theory principles can be used to motivate people at work, as long as the game seems fair and the outcomes are aligned with the employee's goals and ambitions.

I designed 2 tiers of games to guide case workers through their career, from making individual recommendations on cases to spotting larger trends in fraud at ACME.

01. Identify business goals

ACME relies on their employees to make case recommendations by marking them as fraud or a false positive. Each recommendation case workers make trains AI models and feeds back in to ACME’s ability to automate fraud detection.

To stay competitive in the fraud detection space, ACME needs case workers to perform 2 key object-action interactions: make recommendations on cases and AI models.

My classmate and I chose object-action pairs to gamify so case workers are motivated to make recommendations for cases and AI models.

02. Design for case worker motivations

We designed 2 tiers of games to motivate case workers as they make recommendations for cases at ACME.

Game 1 motivates case workers by tracking their career growth as they work through cases, while Game 2 highlights case worker's impact as they identify trends in fraud and communicate with their teams.

Game 1 uses motivators like competition and mastery to guide case workers to close the most cases and earn the Trendspotting promotion (Game 2).

Case workers are motivated to reach Game 2 and earn the status of TrendSpotter, where they can submit fraud trends for their coworkers to vote on.

03. Implement the game mechanics, economy, and rules

Both Game 1 and 2 follow the same reward structure: make case recommendations, earn points, get rewards.

ACME's business goals of catching fraudulent activity and reducing case worker burnout can be achieved by demonstrating career growth with each case recommendation and leading case workers to understand their impact at ACME.

Gamification design and game flow for the 2 tiers of games.

Outcome

Get rewards on the job

Using ACME's design system, my classmate and I created 3 new experiences for case workers: reward tracking, case recommendation feedback, and head-to-head competitions for prizes.

The new design highlights career growth and motivates case workers to go above and beyond their queue, one case at a time.

Explore the prototype

The Dashboard

The dashboard is a space for case workers to recognize their growth and work towards new achievements. At the start of each shift, they're able to track bonus and promotion progress, view callouts from managers, and hop into the queue to work on more cases when they’re ready.

Case workers can see their impact and compare their performance to top teams at ACME to try to close the gap.

Progress tracking helps case workers see their growth at ACME and motivates them to earn new badges and bonuses.

Opening callouts for points incentivizes case workers to stay informed before jumping back into their queue.

The Queue

The queue is where case workers are spending most of their time. With each recommendation they make, they're earning points towards competition prizes, pay bonuses, and promotions.

Voting on the trends generated by AI models helps case workers spot and communicate patterns of fraudulent activity.

Notifications nudge case workers to keep up the good work by awarding pay bonuses for closing additional cases.

Arena Competitions

Arena competitions give case workers a chance to go head-to-head for new prizes every pay period by submitting the most recommendations for cases.

Case workers can compete with each other to win prizes like vacation coupons and charity donations.

New competitions begin each pay period, so case workers can work towards new prizes over time.

Reflection

Mixing work and play

Introducing gamification to enterprise software can be tricky, as employees generally can't opt out of the products their company uses. Our solution rewards required actions in ACME'S workflow and adds voluntary competitions to the mix, so case workers can focus on the basics of their career until they want to take on more.

In the future, case workers might have the opportunity to earn badges for learning new skills at ACME to inspire more growth and collaboration. I hope our ideas inspire ACME to incorporate game elements to relieve burn out for their case workers!

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