Master's Thesis

~Play~ Persona: Supporting Software Design Through Systematic User Modelling


Stefanie Scheja

Processing Period:

02.01.2016 - 15.08.2016


Gamification is but the most recent concept in the history of designing game-like applications for purposes other than pure entertainment. Prominent examples often aim to motivate a specific target behavior or follow learning goals. Nonetheless, the current practice of gamification often seems one-sided regarding its motivational design as reward structures dominate most examples. One reason might be the lack of an established, holistic perspective on the user that informs the designer on personal, motivational and game-related attributes and needs within the context. This thesis introduces the concept of a play-persona, that builds on multifaceted theories of personality psychology, motivational psychology, game-design and user-centered design and a series of expert interviews across this disciplines. Furthermore, an explorative study regarding correlations between personality and play preferences was conducted. The resulting design-tool is suggested to encourage strong and elaborated discussions on user’s needs among the design team, thus supporting the design process.