In October 2014, SAP held its forth internal UX DAY. This time designers from all over Germany came together in order to exchange thoughts about design, skill up on tools and get in touch with each other. The range of activities was as diverse as the people– from keynotes to graffiti workshops to a hands-on high tech gadget table. One of the activities we want to highlight here is the UX Method Cards game.
In preparation for the event we, i.e. Carolin Klimek (UX Design), Vera Legisa (Visual Design) and I designed ten method cards that dealt with “secret” UX methods – methods that are not that widely known or so new that not many people had heard of them before. On the front of each card an image represented the method and on the back a short description explained the method. The back of the card also featured a QR-code to a full-fledge post about the method on the SAP User Experience Community site (link to https://experience.sap.com/tag/ux-method/), where people could read a more elaborate description of the method and find further materials.
Upon arriving in the morning of the UX Day event, each participant was given ten identical cards and a cover card explaining the game. Attendees were instructed to exchange cards with colleagues in order to get a complete set of cards.
Our colleagues had so much fun while exchanging cards – some of them really hunted for the right cards and, as card no. 2 was very scarce – a real dynamic developed. There is also of course a gamification aspect built into this, which is the search for completeness. Imagine you have already 9 different cards in your hands – then you will likely feel an inner drive to find the missing card to complete your set. It is the same principle that applies to badge collections and profile “progress bars” – an incomplete set of badges or partially filled progress bar leaves people unsatisfied and compelled to get the last missing elements. (By the way, for more on this psychological phenomenon, read this nice analysis by Mario Herger of Enterprise Gamification on completion mechanisms used by LinkedIn here).
You might want to say now that there will also be people who do not want to participate in such activities and just pocket the cards. Lean back and relax – at the latest when they are asked for the third time which cards they have, they will be pulled into this game. And of course, if you want to use this game activity yourself, you can choose any topic you want for the cards, not only UX methods.
In case you are wondering where we got the idea for this activity, it was born from the IA Konferenz. This is a German conference for information architecture and user experience, where the IA and UX community meet every year. IA Konferenz changes the main topic each year, for example this year it was “Brand Experience”. For every main topic there are method cards for the participants to exchange and collect during the breaks. It is so much fun that we thought it would be a good idea for our own UX Day.
If you are interested in skilling up on these “secret” methods or providing your own experiences with them, have a look at the ten posts on https://experience.sap.com/tag/ux-method/ or comment on this post. We would like to hear from you!
Of course, it is only ten cards so far, but we already plan to continue with this fun game at the internal UX Day in 2015. That way our collection of UX methods grows further and the spirit of the card hunt is kept alive over the next years – an ongoing endeavor to collect them all.