Skip to Navigation | Skip to Content

Playful Design

Creating Game Experiences in Everyday Interfaces 

Published: May 2012 Paperback: 245 pages, ISBN 1-933820-14-4 Digital: ISBN 1-933820-99-3

by John Ferrara

Playful Design

For UX designers eager to go beyond simple points and badges, it's been hard to find resources that truly bridge the worlds of UX and game design. John Ferrara's thorough, thoughtful, and practical book is just what we've been waiting for."

—Jesse James Garrett, Author, The Elements of User Experience

Game design is a sibling discipline to software and Web design, but they're siblings that grew up in different houses.  They have much more in common than their perceived distinction typically suggests, and user experience practitioners can realize enormous benefit by exploiting the solutions that games have found to the real problems of design.  This book will show you how. 

“Playful Design” Blog

Why should UX designers care about games? (Part 1)

Last week I tweeted this question out to the world.  Here are some of the great responses I’ve received so far, and with more coming in every day it looks like I’m going to have to make it into a series!  If you’d like to contribute to the next installment, just follow and tweet me. …

A note to the Gamification Summit: Surviving the backlash

This week, scores of designers, developers, marketers, and venture capitalists are meeting up at the Gamification Summit in San Francisco. Since it appeared in the pop design lexicon a very few years ago, interest in “gamification” has exploded worldwide. But even as its popularity is surging, a growing cultural skepticism of gamification has started to …

Can exergames increase physical activity?

Earlier this year, a study published in the journal Pediatrics found that five games that are marketed with the promise of increasing players’ physical fitness produced no actual difference in activity.  78 kids between 9 and 12 were given Wii consoles, and then one group was given a couple of exergames while a control group …

When it started, I have to admit that I was really excited. As I was in the process of writing this book, out of pure coincidence interest in the positive effects that video games can have in the real world spontaneously erupted within the general culture. Although this was an idea that a lot of …

Good game design in the real world

This is an excerpt from an interview with me by Jenn Webb.  You can read the complete interview on O’Reilly Radar. In your book’s introduction, you say, “I hope to start moving toward a post-hype discussion of how games can most effectively achieve great things in the real world.” Who is leading the way — or …