It’s the latest, and I am told everybody’s doing it. It’s Pokémon Go which is a free, location-based augmented reality game developed for mobile devices, so Google tells me. Because of its association with mobile devices I decided to do some more research and I came across an article by Liz Sheffield who is a freelance writer with a background in training and development.
Liz took the obvious option of finding out why her sons were obsessed with the game by asking them. In their words Pokémon Go is fun because:
You walk around instead of just standing there
- It doesn’t just catch a Pokémon for you; you have to take action
- It’s a simple concept, but adds on more stuff as you go
- It gives you a reason to talk to other people who you might otherwise not meet
- You gotta catch ‘em all to complete the activity.
In reading these comments by obviously dedicated players I couldn’t help but reflect on how this applies to designing Modlettes. We are designing for predominantly mobile use and an audience of young to medium aged learners. The following are my observations:
- Keep it simple. Modlettes has an easy to follow, basic format and design structure. Start with impact and ideas that are easy to understand and relevant to other learner’s work. Once the learner has adjusted start to add complexity and challenge to keep them interested.
- Keep it active. Just because you are delivering content via a screen doesn’t mean you can’t encourage learners to get out of their seat and find information
- Keep it collaborative. Don’t just push content at your learners. They want to think, and use what they know to gain more knowledge.
- Keep it people-centric. Some of the best learning comes from dialogue and discussion with other learners. Provide participants with content that provokes conversation and provides them with a reason to talk to other people about what they are learning.
- Keep it creative. Include ways to engage learners with creative use of interactive elements that will keep what they learn top of mind, e.g. the use of humour.
The success of Pokémon Go is another illustration of the power of gamification to get learners engaged. If an augmented reality game can inspire 75 million people to get active, surely we can weave some creativity into our Modlette design to inspire our many potential learners.