Interview with our Gamification Europe 2017 speaker - Alex Chalkias
To prepare for Gamification Europe 2017, we asked all our speakers 4 questions about gamification. These are Alex's answers!
1) When and how did you first hear about gamification?
I studied Scientific Visualisation as my first degree and was involved with making STEM related topics visually more engaging and easier to understand, the way we did things was very traditional though and I was on a mission to make my designs more “immersive” and interactive. I played around with a lot of different mediums from Oil to Photography and Digital Design, but something was still missing. It was until travelling to South Africa to work in an advertising agency until I got in touch with Web Design and UX/UI. I was fascinated about the strategies around motivating people to do a desired action by changing the visual design. I loved being able to not just tell my stories but to make people interact with them. It always comes back to the best invention ever – Choose Your Own Adventure Books, where you make the decisions around how the story develops – but it was until starting to code that I realised the potential of it. After I started to code, a whole new world opened up to me. Suddenly started started to make more sense – people, technology, art, everything was combined. But there was still one piece missing, and it had more to do with my childhood adventures than I would have thought. The first company I worked for as a Web Designer was a learning technology startup in Cape Town and I mainly worked on the UI side of the project. At one point, I was really frustrated about my work because I felt that everything looked prettier but I had one big problem – It wasn’t fun! That was the time when I started researching around best practices in UX and how to get from easy to use to fun. It was like a revelation when I came across the term “Gamification”… This was the last missing puzzle piece I was searching for so long.
2) Why and when did you decide that you want to use gamification?
When I first came across the term Gamification, I knew that I was destined to use it in my work… No, joke aside. I unconsciously already used Gamification before I even knew what it was, so as soon as I discovered the term and did some research, I knew this was what I wanted to do for living. I started feeding everything related to Gamification that was around at that time, and I never stopped. Highly driven by Core Drive 1 – Epic Meaning and Calling, I want to make people’s lives more exciting and FUN, I want to make the world a better place using Gamification. My goal is to see people getting up in the morning with a sense of excitement instead of anxiety, looking forward for the next challenge.
3) What is the main takeaway someone will take after attending your session at Gamification Europe?
While my workshop with Vasilis Gkogkidis will be a hands on ideation and prototyping workshop, my talk about Designing for Superwomen, will transfer you into the deep space of our unconscious mind. I want to open an honest and real discussion related to Gender and Diversity in Gamification and how it impacts our organisations. We will explore how to empower females in our designs and its relevance in improving our products and experiences by analysing it through the Octalysis Lens.
4) What other session of Gamification Europe are you excited about and want to attend?
I am very excited to see my colleague Joris Beerda’s talk about how to empower sales teams with Octalysis Gamification. His in depth knowledge and experience on Sales in Gamification improved my overall understanding of Motivation and Behaviour and made me a more confident speaker and consultant.
I’m also looking forward to attend Melinda Jacobs’ and Jeff Gomez’ talk about narratives, especially because storytelling is one of my favourite topics to discuss and dive into when designing Experiences. It can never get old…