KREA-FUN

Method description

The development of business applications calls for inspiration and know-how on the part of the designers to find the balance between business and user goals. If an ideal balance is achieved between these goals, the software can support the achievement of the expected results for the company and also generate a positive user experience (UX) for its users. In addition, we have to consider the existing gap between the world of creativity (e.g., in design) and the world of structured thinking (e.g., in engineering).

A moderated Requirements Elicitation format

We have developed a systematic method to facilitate the elicitation and identification of ideas for new and innovative ways how users of software might enjoy more fun when working with the software: the KREA-FUN workshop.

KREA-FUN packages many important principles from the intersection of usability engineering, requirements engineering, emotional design, creativity and psychology with the intention to improve the interplay between organizational goals and user goals. Figure 1 sketches the four phases, namely preparation, exploration, transformation, and evaluation, as well as the information and techniques that serve as input for the workshop.

The Quality Model

Typically, organizations pursue other goals than people strive for. Thus organizations pay their employees, i.e. the users, to follow their business goals. Obviously, there is a gap between the users’ interest and the businesses’ interest. Usually, the user of software wants to pursue his interest and neglect the one of the organization, e.g. to write a letter to his friend instead of writing an invoice for another company. But some organizations manage to present their own goals in a way that is tempting for the employees. A good example illustrating is the Google Image Labeler, based on the ESP Game [1]. Google’s goal is to get good and comprehensive image labels for its image search functionality, for free. Hence, they set up a collaborative online tagging game that makes it fun to label images: Two randomly paired players try to find the same words describing a randomly selected picture without being able to communicate with each other. Thus Google can benefit from people who are even not connected with this organization – they employ the interest of humans in playing and comparing each other. This example shows how the gap between user interest and organizational goals can be closed and brought to a win-win situation: both, organization and users, are satisfied with the result. This process can be seen as building a bridge that closes the gap between satisfying user interests and organizational goals. There is not only one bridge of joyful interaction that can be built to span a problem, but several ones. To build our “bridges” on solid ground, we have developed a model that guides our efforts.

The e4 FUN quality model [9, 51] approaches the concept of joy during the usage of interactive systems in a cognitive behaviorist manner. It completely abstains from subjective experience and focuses on behavioral and cognitive effects software properties have on users. Hence, fun-of-use in the e4 FUN quality model is not about feeling happiness, but about motivation, attitude, creativity, concentration and willingness, i.e. user experience, to work. It is divided into the following four dimensions:

Execute-FUN is when nothing hinders me: Here, user goals and business goals match. The application should not prevent the user from accomplishing his task, but allow for an effective, efficient and adequate working, that is, usability. This dimension is mainly founded on models of human cognition and human failure.

Engage-FUN is when I meet my motives: In this dimension, the user knows and has accepted the business goals. The user is pursuing plain goals, but might lose sight of the goals, or the goals lose priority due to external factors. The key concept of this dimension is motivation; users shall be (re-)motivated and engaged during interaction.

Induce-FUN is when I change attitude: Users who are not aware of or interested in business goals should be “persuaded” to subsequently adhere to them. Here, users’ attitude should change towards a predefined goal. Its key concepts are attitude and persuasion.

Expand-FUN is when I get illuminated: The main concept in this dimension is creativity. The target behavior for the users would be to acquire new tasks or goals by developing novel and creative ideas or usage scenarios the product has not been designed for.

Bridging means that each of the dimensions described above, is able to initiate the desired change in motivation, attitude or mood. For the “engage” dimension for example the challenge of our approach is to propose interaction designs that strengthen the motivation of users and therefore support the achievement of the business goal “performance”.