Behavioral product strategist and gamification designer. This is my public hypertext notebook, sharing my thinking in motion at various stages of development.


I design for successful goal achievement and playstyles that are appropriate for the user

A friend of mine named Javier Velasquez once told me: “Behavioral economics sets up a choice architecture so that people are most likely to pick one specific option. Game designers aim to give users meaningful choices where all of the options are equally valuable, they just represent different play styles that suit each player. There’s a balance there if you want to create engagement in product design.” When he drew this out in my tiny notebook at a conference I knew we were going to be friends

I want to give users choices that matter so that they can tell the app what their User Goals are and what playstyles make sense to them to achieve it. I then work to facilitate the user in achieving that goal through behavioral influence. This increases User Involvement.

It can be dangerous to design with only one playstyle in mind. As I outline in The hard problem of onboarding horizontal products, there are a lot of different user groups. Additionally, There are individual differences between users in preferred playstyles. If you have a mismatch between the user’s preferred playstyle and the behaviors the app is designed for, then you’re fighting an uphill battle since Products are fundamentally voluntary.