Gamestorming

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What is Gamestorming?

Gamestorming is a set of practices where designers use games to stimulate creative thinking and innovation. In an atmosphere of collaboration and free exchange of ideas, designers think out of the box, explore novel ideas and produce creative solutions to complex problems. 

Image of the Gamestorming book cover.

This is the playbook; it features a valuable fund of games, tips and more.

© Gamestorming.com, Fair Use

Gamestorming and UX Design: A Perfect Match 

UX design is a multifaceted domain, and it’s one that calls for designers and other members of design teams to get a really deep understanding of the users’ needs, preferences and behavior. That empathy is key. Designers have got to develop a seamless, intuitive and engaging user interface that optimizes the users’ interaction with a digital product or service. So, gamestorming can be a valuable tool in the UX designer's arsenal. By gamestorming, designers can improve visual elements, information architecture or more extensive approaches to their design work. 

See why empathy for users is vital for designers to establish early on as a way to power design decisions: 

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Gamestorming activities provide an engaging and interactive platform for UX designers to gain insights into users' behavior, preferences and pain points. As designers leverage gamestorming to transform complex design challenges into playful and interactive games, they can do many things more easily. For example, they can step into their users' shoes, see problems from different perspectives and come up with user-centric solutions that are truly novel. 

One important consideration with gamestorming is the impact it’s got on engagement and creativity. As they work game elements into the design process, team members are more likely to get actively involved and motivated to contribute their ideas. And that raised level of engagement is something that can lead to their generating truly innovative solutions for UX problems. So, it can translate well to the final product of a design project. 

What’s more, gamestorming is something that promotes collaboration and fosters a sense of teamwork among team members. A collaborative environment is a vital part of better-designed user experiences. When design teams gamestorm, different perspectives and expertise come together and gel. That doesn’t just enhance team cohesion and boost the morale—it leads to more innovative and effective design solutions, too. 

Another powerful benefit of gamestorming is how it can generate a wide range of ideas. As they leverage various gamestorming techniques, designers can stretch to think outside the box and explore unconventional approaches to UX challenges. And that diversity of ideas allows for a more comprehensive exploration of potential solutions for them. Plus, it makes sure that everyone in the group can think about different perspectives. 

Author and Human-Computer Interaction Expert, Professor Alan Dix explains how to think outside the box: 

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What’s more, gamestorming is something that can help maintain a user-centric approach. That’s because team members become involved in understanding and empathizing with their end users—centering designers well around the human dimensions of the problem at hand. When they actively engage with the users' needs and preferences, product designers—as well as service designers—can come up with design concepts that have a high level of originality. They can then start to meet the needs of their target audience in the most effective ways in innovative design prototypes. From there, designers can use design principles and tools such as user personas to make more intuitive and user-friendly experiences in app or web design.  

Illustration of sheets of paper used in gamestorming.

6-8-5 is an example of a game that’s highly conducive to idea generation among design teams.

© Dave Gray, Fair Use

The Mechanics of Gamestorming in UX Design 

A typical gamestorming session in UX design has several stages to it. In each, the idea is to stimulate creative thinking and facilitate problem-solving among participants. These stages include:  

Image showing the mechanics of gamestorming in three parts.

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

1. Opening (divergent thinking): In this stage, the facilitator initiates the process. It’s important here to set the context and define the problem. It's about opening up the minds of the participants—and encouraging them to explore diverse ideas and perspectives in the problem space as well. 

2. Exploring (emergent thinking): Now, the participants delve deeper into the problem space. They explore various facets of the problem—and work to generate a whole multitude of potential solutions. This stage consists of free-flowing ideas, vigorous discussions and creative experimentation. 

3. Closing (convergent thinking): It’s the final stage. The participants evaluate the generated ideas, refine them and converge on the most promising solutions. It involves critical analysis, decision-making and consensus-building. 

Author and Human-Computer Interaction Design Expert, Professor Alan Dix explains convergent and divergent thinking: 

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Designers can participate in any number of a variety of games—especially those mentioned in Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers—to spark their imaginations and generate some workable ideas. 

The Origins and Essence of Gamestorming 

Gamestorming began as a brainchild of Dave Gray, Sunni Brown and James Macanufo. They sought to challenge the status quo of business meetings by introducing game-like elements into the environment. After much research and experimentation, they published a book on gamestorming in 2010.  

Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers has since become the go-to guide for user experience (UX) designers around the world. The authors’ innovative approach to problem solving has proved popular in a variety of industries. Many organizations that have sought to improve their creative output and employee engagement have adopted and used gamestorming to their advantage. 

Gamestorming is a revolutionary approach for groups to foster innovation and creativity in the business sphere. It pivots around the concept where participants use games as an instrument to facilitate brainstorming and problem solving. The games themselves can take many forms. They include 6-8-5, Prune the Future and Friend or Foe, among a host of others.    

When design teams innovate through these games, it promotes a vibrant, engaging and productive work environment. In gamestorming, a facilitator guides a group towards a specific objective through a structured activity or a game in an environment that’s conducive for free thinking. It nurtures an atmosphere of playful engagement while everyone who’s participating can keep a real focus on the end goal. 

An important trait is how gamestorming features a playfully designed structure and clear rules for interaction. It—therefore—leverages the inherent human love for games to drive productivity and innovation. In gamestorming, participants use physical artifacts such as sticky notes, poster paper, markers and even random pictures from magazines. 

As a highly creative “variant” of brainstorming, gamestorming leverages elements from games, improvisational theater and design thinking. It’s a powerful and dynamic way to break down traditional meeting structures and encourage active participation, idea generation and problem solving. The approach has gained traction in various industries as a way to foster creativity, improve communication and drive innovation within teams and organizations. Gamestorming’s versatility and fine-tunability help make it a handy asset to use in anything from market research to graphic design and visual design—to name just a few industrial applications.   

What are Examples of Games in Gamestorming? 

A powerful game is Todd Zaki Warfel’s 6-8-5, for which participants do the following: 

1.  The facilitator brings sheets of paper with 2x2 or 2x3 grids with enough white space or room for participants to sketch their ideas in. However, each box is still small enough to carry just one idea. Everyone should have enough paper to enter 10 boxes in a round. 

2.  The facilitator distributes several sheets to each participant (alternatively, they can draw these grids in their notebooks). 

3.  The facilitator introduces the game and tells the participants the objective: to generate from six to eight ideas relevant to the meeting objective in five minutes

4.  The facilitator sets a timer for five minutes. 

5.  The participants sketch out as many ideas as possible in the next five minutes, ideally from six to eight ideas. These ideas should be very rough. 

6.  After five minutes is up, every participant shares their sketches with the rest of the group. Everyone can ask each participant questions, but it isn’t the time for a large brainstorming session. Everybody should present, and no one should be left out. 

7.  If time permits, the participants may have another few rounds of the game. Everyone can develop ideas the group presented as a whole. Alternatively, they can keep working on separate ideas or start working on the same one. Importantly, this five-minute sprint should always occur silently with everyone working independently. 

6-8-5 is especially useful in the early stages of ideation as a process for any product, service or other concept, particularly in UX or interaction design. If a diverse group is involved—that is, stakeholders from a variety of departments—it can produce especially effective results. At the end, participants can have a debrief and synthesis session to sort through the most fruitful ideas in view of the team’s overall goals for the business, product or user. 

Another game is Prune the Future, where the visual metaphor of a tree represents traditional roadmaps of the brand’s offering. The tree also represents the evolutionary growth of that offering. It could be a product or service, or a product and service. The “branches” stand for broad product capabilities or service areas. Meanwhile, leaves might represent, for example, specific product features. Participants seek to “prune” those unneeded features in the game as they proceed via growth areas that represent “sooner” and “later.” 

Illustration of a tree as used in gamestorming.

Prune the Future, or Prune the Product Tree, reflects the growth teams seek to nurture in design.

© Dave Gray, Fair Use

Particular benefits of Prune the Future include the point that participants can work their way to find which areas appear to be more “fruitful” than others. They can also spot connections between branches. 

Another game is the Anti-problem. Here, participants “flip” the problem to the polar opposite of the real problem that the design team faces. So, in the gamestorming session, everyone focuses on that one problem they would face if the situation were reversed. The idea is that they can access insights that they would not have had had they aimed at the original problem itself. Meanwhile, the ideas they come up with are still relevant to the problem space. When participants generate ideas in the Anti-problem game, they can re-flip these around and bring the insights to bear on the original real problem. 

Real-life Examples of Gamestorming 

Numerous well-known brands have employed gamestorming to drive innovation and enhance their UX design process. 

For instance, Hubspot and Wordstream are two prominent brands that have leveraged gamestorming to nurture a culture of innovation and creativity in their UX design teams. They’ve used gamestorming techniques like “Poster Session,” “Make a World” and “Show Me the Money” to stimulate creative thinking, encourage collaboration and drive user-centric innovation. 

Tips for Effective Gamestorming 

To extract the maximum benefit from gamestorming, try some tips: 

1. Define clear objectives: Before the start of a gamestorming session, it’s really important to define the objectives and clearly so. What problem is the group trying to solve? What’s the end goal? When the group has clear objectives, it gives the session direction and focus. 

2. Nurture a safe and open environment: The facilitator should encourage participants to express their ideas freely—and without fear of judgment or criticism. It’s vital to foster a good atmosphere here—one of openness, respect and mutual support. 

3. Encourage participation: Make sure everybody participates. Encourage quiet members to speak up and put their ideas out there—it’s how UX designers work, and it’s what innovations require. So, it’s vital for everyone involved to appreciate contributions and respect differing viewpoints—at all times. So, the facilitator has got to guide the process, stimulate discussion and make sure that everyone hears everyone else's voice. Nobody should dominate the discussion or impose their ideas. 

UX Strategist and Consultant William Hudson explains the needed ingredients for brainstorming: 

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4. Be flexible: Be open to changes and adaptations. If a game’s not working as expected, be ready to tweak it or switch to a different game. Among other traits, the nature of designers’ jobs means they’ve got to stay fluid, overcome bias and observe pain points—mindfully. 

5. Keep it fun and engaging: Keep the energy levels high and maintain a playful atmosphere. Remember, the essence of gamestorming is to make problem-solving fun and engaging—and that’s part of its magic. It’s a unique form of brainstorming session. So, use interesting games, incorporate humor and make sure a lively and energetic atmosphere is all around. 

6. Iterate and reflect: After each gamestorming session, reflect on what worked—and what didn't. Iterate on your gamestorming process based on these reflections. The iterative process is a vital ingredient, since it helps design teams work their way towards truly human-centered design. That will translate to more positive results when designers engage in user testing. 

Illustration of a page that represents the Friend or Foe game.

Friend or Foe is another helpful game in the gamestorming arsenal.

© David Mastronardi, Fair Use

Learn More about Gamestorming 

Take our course Design Thinking: The Ultimate Guide

Get an in-depth treatment on gamestorming in the official Gamestorming blog

Find some sharp insights in Breaking Up With Brainstorming: How Gamestorming Helps Build An Innovation Culture | Upland

Check out 4 gamestorming games to liven up your training by Raphaele Champ for additional information. 

Read Using Gamestorming to make your workshops fun, effective and engaging by Sol Pandiella-McLeaod for further valuable insights. 

Questions related to Gamestorming

What are some popular gamestorming exercises for brainstorming? 

Gamestorming exercises stand out as engaging, creative tools for brainstorming, and that’s especially the case within teams looking to nurture innovation and solve complex problems. Among the most popular Gamestorming exercises, three shine for their effectiveness and broad application: "Crazy Eights" encourages rapid ideation—where participants fold a sheet of paper into eight sections and sketch eight distinct ideas in eight minutes. This exercise pushes for quantity over quality, unleashing creative potential without the constraints of self-censorship or overthinking. "Post-Up" invites participants to jot down ideas on sticky notes and post them on a wall or board. This visual clustering enables the group to categorize ideas, identify patterns and prioritize topics for further exploration. The collaborative, physical interaction is something that really enhances engagement and collective understanding. These exercises don’t just stimulate creative thinking—they promote collaboration and a deeper understanding of problems and opportunities, too. When design teams implement them, they can transform routine brainstorming sessions into dynamic, productive workshops that yield tangible outcomes. 

Watch our Master Class Harness Your Creativity to Design Better Products with Professor, Author and Creativity Expert, Alan Dix

How do you adapt gamestorming for large, diverse teams?  

It takes strategic modifications to adapt gamestorming for larger, diverse teams to make sure that inclusivity and effective participation really happen. One approach is to split the larger group into smaller, more manageable teams. This allows for more voices to hear and encourages engagement from everybody involved. Each small group can tackle different aspects of a challenge or work on the same problem separately—and that leads to a richer variety of solutions. To implement a rotation mechanism where members switch groups at certain intervals can also raise the level of diversity of thought. This rotation fosters cross-pollination of ideas. What’s more, it makes sure that teams benefit from varied perspectives. Another thing is that it's crucial to choose exercises that scale well with numbers and diversity.  

Exercises like "Crazy Eights" and "Post-Up" easily adapt to larger groups as they simply raise the number of ideas that get generated—or as they organize ideas into broader categories that reflect the group's diverse viewpoints. To involve digital tools for collaboration can also bridge the gap in large, diverse teams. Online whiteboards and brainstorming apps mean that remote or hybrid teams can contribute equally. That makes sure that geographical or physical barriers don’t hinder creativity. Finally, if small groups have facilitators, it helps them keep their focus and momentum going. These facilitators can guide discussions, encourage that everyone participates and make sure that the group's diverse voices and ideas receive equal consideration. 

UX Strategist and Consultant William Hudson explains the process of Design Thinking—a relevant subject to understand how teams approach ideating for their users: 

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What challenges come with facilitating gamestorming sessions, and how do you solve them?

To facilitate gamestorming sessions comes with several challenges, but the facilitator can solve them with smart strategies. Here are some common issues and solutions: 

To get everyone to participate: Sometimes, people may feel shy or unsure about sharing their ideas. To solve this, create a welcoming environment where every idea counts. Use warm-up activities to break the ice and make sure to encourage quiet team members—by asking for their opinions directly. 

To manage time: Gamestorming sessions can quickly run over time without careful management. So, set clear time limits for each activity and use timers to keep everyone on track. Be firm but polite to move the group along, and make sure you do cover all planned activities. 

To handle dominant personalities: Occasionally, some participants may dominate the discussion—and leave little room for others. Address this by setting rules at the beginning—such as "let everyone speak" or using techniques like round-robin sharing, where you go around the group and give each person a chance to speak. 

To generate useful ideas: Sometimes, the ideas the group generates mightn’t be practical or relevant. So, encourage the group to build on each other's ideas to refine them. After the gamestorming, hold a voting session to work out which are the most promising ideas—the ones that merit further exploration. 

To deal with off-topic discussions: It's easy for groups to go off on tangents. So, keep the session focused—by gently steering conversations back to the topic. Use visual aids like agendas or topic lists that show prominently to keep everyone mindful about the session's goals. 

Take our course Creativity: Methods to Design Better Products and Services with Professor Alan Dix for many additional and important insights into idea generation: 

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What Gamestorming games assist with user testing and feedback? 

Gamestorming offers several engaging games that aid in user testing and gathering feedback. These help teams to better understand user needs and experiences. Here are some effective games:  

Speed boat: This game helps find what users feel are obstacles or issues with a product. Participants draw a boat—that represents the product—and then add anchors to represent challenges or problems. This visual metaphor helps teams quickly understand user concerns and prioritize solutions.  

The 4Cs: This map organizes feedback into four categories, which are these: Collect (facts and data), Connect (find patterns), Create (generate ideas), and Commit (decide on actions). It's a structured approach for the participants to turn user feedback into actionable insights.  

Affinity mapping: After teams collect feedback, they use this technique to group ideas, comments and observations on sticky notes into themes. It’s an excellent way to visually organize a large volume of feedback—and spot common trends or issues. 

Take our Master Class How to Get Started with Usability Testing with Cory Lebson, Principal and Owner – Lebsontech LLC. 

How do you determine a Gamestorming session's success?

To determine the success of a Gamestorming session, one must evaluate several key factors beyond simply generating a large number of ideas. Here are some indicators of a successful session:  

Achievement of objectives: The most direct measure of success is whether the session actually did meet its predefined goals. Did it solve the problem at hand? And did it generate actionable ideas or solutions?  

Engagement and participation: A successful session is one where active participation happens—from all members. Everyone should feel comfortable to share their thoughts and build on others' ideas.  

Diversity of ideas: Success is something that also comes from the variety and creativity of the ideas which the group members generate. The session should encourage thinking outside the box—and it should yield diverse perspectives.  

Actionable outcomes: Ideas that participants generate during the session should be clear and actionable ones. A sign of success is when teams can take these ideas and implement them or develop them further.  

Feedback from participants: Participants' satisfaction and perceived value of the session provide crucial feedback. Successful sessions leave participants feeling energized and inspired.  

Follow-up and implementation: The real test of a session's success is in the follow-up. Successful sessions lead to actions, changes or decisions that impact the project or organization positively. And when they look at these aspects, facilitators can gauge the effectiveness of their Gamestorming sessions. From there, they can continually refine their approach to make sure that future sessions are, indeed, even more successful. 

Watch our video on the phases of Design Thinking to appreciate the successful ingredients of how to ideate and iterate well for users. 

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Hasso-Platner Institute Panorama

Ludwig Wilhelm Wall, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Which Gamestorming activities help during the design research phase?  

During the design research phase, certain Gamestorming activities stand out for their ability to uncover insights, stimulate creative thinking, and foster collaboration. Here are some activities specifically beneficial at this stage: 

  1. Empathy mapping: This activity helps teams understand their users better by mapping out what users say, think, do and feel. It's a powerful way to gain insights into user needs and experiences. 

  1. Stakeholder mapping: From identifying and mapping all stakeholders involved with the product or service, teams can understand the various perspectives and needs.  

  1. Customer journey mapping: This involves creating a visual story of the user’s interactions with the product or service. It highlights pain points, emotional highs and lows—and opportunities for improvement. 

  1. Assumption dump: Teams list assumptions about their users, the product or the market. This activity challenges preconceptions. Plus, it finds areas where more research is needed, so making decisions data-driven. 

  1. Question-storming: Instead of generating ideas, the focus here is on generating questions. It’s something that leads to deeper inquiry into the problem space—and so uncovers new areas for research and exploration. 

Watch our video The Power of Journey Mapping with Matt Snyder, Head of Product and Design at Hivewire, for valuable insights into journey mapping

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How do you use gamestorming to improve client-stakeholder engagement in design projects?

To use gamestorming to improve client-stakeholder engagement in design projects involves creative and interactive activities that foster collaboration, understanding and participation. Here’s how to apply Gamestorming principles for better engagement: 

Kick-off workshops: Start your project with a Gamestorming workshop that includes both your team and the client's stakeholders. Use activities like "Expectation Exchange" to share and align on goals, expectations and concerns. This sets a collaborative tone from the beginning. 

Empathy mapping sessions: Conduct these sessions with stakeholders to deepen understanding of the target users’ needs, behaviors and pain points. Empathy maps create a shared user-centered perspective that guides the design process. 

Idea sketching: Encourage stakeholders to sketch their ideas for solutions, features or products. Even simple drawings can spark discussions, and they can inspire innovation—so make everyone feel invested in the creative process. 

Priority matrix: Use this game to involve stakeholders in the prioritization of features or project phases. If you evaluate the importance and feasibility of each item together, you make sure that decisions reflect both client and project needs. 

Feedback loops with “dot voting”: After the presentation of concepts or prototypes, use dot voting to collect feedback from stakeholders. This simple method allows everyone to express their preferences or concerns visually, which makes it easier when it comes to a consensus and areas that need improvement. 

These Gamestorming strategies don’t just engage clients and stakeholders actively—they promote a sense of ownership and alignment throughout the design project, too. If you integrate these activities, you can create a more inclusive, innovative and successful design process that values the contributions of all participants. 

Watch our Master Class How To Design With People Who Don’t Get Design, with Morgane Peng, Design Director at Societe Generale

What digital tools or platforms enhance Gamestorming activities?  

Here are some notable ones: 

Miro and Mural: These virtual whiteboard platforms are perfect for Gamestorming sessions. They allow team members to collaborate in real-time, using sticky notes, diagrams and voting features to brainstorm and organize ideas visually. 

Trello: Ideal for organizing and prioritizing ideas, Trello's card-based system is useful to manage different stages of a Gamestorming process. Participants can use each card to represent an idea—and organize boards into themes or categories. 

Zoom: For live Gamestorming sessions, Zoom's breakout rooms feature allows facilitators to divide participants into smaller groups for focused discussions or activities, and then come back together to share insights. 

Stormboard: This tool combines sticky notes and whiteboarding to facilitate brainstorming, planning and decision-making. It also provides templates for various Gamestorming activities and allows for easy organization and prioritization of ideas. 

When teams integrate these digital tools into Gamestorming activities, they can overcome the limitations of distance, enhance engagement and foster a collaborative and creative environment that drives innovation. 

On the subject of tools, take our Master Class How to Build Your UX Toolbox with Susan Weinschenk—Chief Behavioral Scientist and CEO, The Team W, Inc.—and Guthrie Weinschenk, COO, The Team W, Inc. 

What ethical considerations should you keep in mind with gamestorming?

In gamestorming, it’s important to consider ethical aspects to ensure the sessions are respectful, inclusive, and productive. Here are some key ethical considerations:  

Inclusivity: Make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to participate—in a safe space where all ideas are welcome.  

Confidentiality: Be sure to respect the privacy of ideas and discussions. Some insights shared during Gamestorming sessions might be sensitive or proprietary. Agree on confidentiality terms beforehand to protect participants and the organization.  

Transparency: Be clear about the purpose of the session and what uses the outcomes will have. This helps manage expectations and builds trust among participants. 

Product Design Lead at Netflix, Nival Sheikh explains the nature of ethics as it applies to artificial intelligence (AI): 

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How does team diversity impact gamestorming session outcomes? 

Here's how diversity impacts gamestorming sessions: 

Broader perspectives: Diverse teams can look at problems from multiple angles. This diversity in thought and experience leads to a richer pool of ideas, and makes it more likely to find novel solutions to complex challenges. 

Increased creativity: With varied cultural, educational and professional backgrounds, team members can inspire each other with different ways of thinking and approaching problems, which boosts creativity. 

Better problem-solving: Diversity gives a real boost to a team's ability to solve problems really effectively. Different viewpoints can help spot overlooked aspects of a challenge—and it’s something that leads to more comprehensive solutions. 

Enhanced collaboration: Team members learn to articulate their ideas clearly and listen to others' perspectives.  

Avoidance of groupthink: Teams with similar backgrounds and experiences are more prone to groupthink—where the desire for harmony leads to poor decision-making. Diversity counteracts this. 

Take our Design Thinking: The Ultimate Guide course to appreciate what goes into successful ideation sessions, including diverse team makeups. 

What are some highly cited scientific articles on the subject of Gamestorming?

Terrell, T. J. (2016). Adventurestorming: Conducting collaborative ideation utilizing creative play (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.  

This thesis—by T. J. Terrell—has been influential in the field of communication design and ideation processes due to its innovative approach to utilizing creative play in collaborative brainstorming sessions. By introducing the concept of Adventurestorming, a prototype tabletop role-playing game designed for group ideation involving both designers and non-designers, the author explores how gamification can enhance interaction, problem exploration, user empathy, and overall outcomes compared to traditional brainstorming methods. The study's focus on fostering greater collaboration, maintaining focus on problem-solving, and building empathy for users highlights the importance of effective tools and methods for diverse group interactions during project planning in the communication design industry. Terrell's research provides valuable insights into the potential of creative play and gamification in improving group ideation processes for more innovative and successful project outcomes. 

 

What are some highly regarded books on the subject of Gamestorming?

Gray, D., Brown, S., & Macanufo, J. (2010). Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers (1st Edition). O'Reilly Media, Inc.  

Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, and James Macanufo has been influential for its comprehensive collection of over 80 games designed to foster creativity, communication, and innovation in various settings. The book introduces the concept of gamestorming as a methodology to break down barriers, enhance collaboration, generate new ideas, and streamline meetings for increased productivity. By providing structured games and techniques derived from innovative professionals worldwide, the authors offer a practical guide to improving problem-solving processes and idea generation within teams. This book stands out for its emphasis on interactive engagement, visual thinking techniques, and the promotion of a playful approach to overcoming challenges in the workplace. 

Literature on Gamestorming

Here’s the entire UX literature on Gamestorming by the Interaction Design Foundation, collated in one place:

Learn more about Gamestorming

Take a deep dive into Gamestorming with our course Design Thinking: The Ultimate Guide .

Some of the world’s leading brands, such as Apple, Google, Samsung, and General Electric, have rapidly adopted the design thinking approach, and design thinking is being taught at leading universities around the world, including Stanford d.school, Harvard, and MIT. What is design thinking, and why is it so popular and effective?

Design Thinking is not exclusive to designers—all great innovators in literature, art, music, science, engineering and business have practiced it. So, why call it Design Thinking? Well, that’s because design work processes help us systematically extract, teach, learn and apply human-centered techniques to solve problems in a creative and innovative way—in our designs, businesses, countries and lives. And that’s what makes it so special.

The overall goal of this design thinking course is to help you design better products, services, processes, strategies, spaces, architecture, and experiences. Design thinking helps you and your team develop practical and innovative solutions for your problems. It is a human-focused, prototype-driven, innovative design process. Through this course, you will develop a solid understanding of the fundamental phases and methods in design thinking, and you will learn how to implement your newfound knowledge in your professional work life. We will give you lots of examples; we will go into case studies, videos, and other useful material, all of which will help you dive further into design thinking. In fact, this course also includes exclusive video content that we've produced in partnership with design leaders like Alan Dix, William Hudson and Frank Spillers!

This course contains a series of practical exercises that build on one another to create a complete design thinking project. The exercises are optional, but you’ll get invaluable hands-on experience with the methods you encounter in this course if you complete them, because they will teach you to take your first steps as a design thinking practitioner. What’s equally important is you can use your work as a case study for your portfolio to showcase your abilities to future employers! A portfolio is essential if you want to step into or move ahead in a career in the world of human-centered design.

Design thinking methods and strategies belong at every level of the design process. However, design thinking is not an exclusive property of designers—all great innovators in literature, art, music, science, engineering, and business have practiced it. What’s special about design thinking is that designers and designers’ work processes can help us systematically extract, teach, learn, and apply these human-centered techniques in solving problems in a creative and innovative way—in our designs, in our businesses, in our countries, and in our lives.

That means that design thinking is not only for designers but also for creative employees, freelancers, and business leaders. It’s for anyone who seeks to infuse an approach to innovation that is powerful, effective and broadly accessible, one that can be integrated into every level of an organization, product, or service so as to drive new alternatives for businesses and society.

You earn a verifiable and industry-trusted Course Certificate once you complete the course. You can highlight them on your resume, CV, LinkedIn profile or your website.

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