Interview with the newspaper Hurriyet IK

Hurriyet is one of the biggest Newspapers in Turkey and the biggest Turkish Newspaper in Europe. I had the pleasure to gave an interview about what I am doing and about Gamification.

The original was published online and as Newspaper in the special HR division of Hurriyet.

Here I will give you the English version of it:

Hurriyet IK: Can we get to know you a little bit first? What schools did you go to, where have you previously worked?

After completing A-Level, I had a three-years apprenticeship as a Media Designer, for an advertising media company. After this, I decided to study Product Design at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Schwäbisch Gmünd. I attended an internship while I studied in Munich at a Design Thinking and Innovation agency, which is called Hyve. After my internship, I studied one semester abroad in Copenhagen at the Royal Danish Design Academy. After writing my Bachelor Thesis about Gamification and the Fuzzy Front End of Design, I worked at some bigger and smaller agencies with digital background, and after that, I joined Accenture Interactive in March 2015.

Hurriyet IK: How long have you been working at Accenture Interactive? Can you share some information about the company? How many companies do you provide services to?

I am now with Accenture Interactive ASG for more than two years. Accenture Interactive is the world’s biggest and fastest growing digital agency (according to latest Ad Age Agency Report). We’re actually a new breed of agency — part creative agency, part business consultancy, part technology powerhouse. Our connected offerings, which span design, marketing, content and commerce, help brands transform their customer experiences. Our clients most of the top 100 Fortune 500 companies. Accenture Interactive is a 4.4 billion USD business with 18,500 professionals globally. I’m with the team in Germany, Austria and Switzerland where we create business ideas and deliver digital transformation at scale across various marketing and commerce technology platforms such as SAP Hybris, and Adobe Marketing Cloud. Accenture Interactive is a part of Accenture Digital. That means when we develop transformative customer experience solutions for our clients, we benefit from the strong analytics and business intelligence capabilities of Accenture Analytics and, e.g., the Internet of Things expertise of Accenture Mobility.

Hurriyet IK: What does a Strategic Design and Gamification consultant do? Can you tell us a bit about your job?

What I do is provide solutions for companies in their way of how to deal with a Customer Centric or Human Centric approach, what processes, methods and culture they need. For me it is not only about the customer at the end, it is about a holistic view on the “system”, which involves all stakeholders as well. As Gamification is a human centric — I would call it Human focus approach, it is part of my methodology.

Hurriyet IK: What is gamification? How is it used in the business world, in which fields?

First of all, Gamification is A BUZZWORD, like Design Thinking — don’t get me wrong, but a lot of people don’t understand what it is, however they are using it. For me Gamification is a good method to motivate people and can trigger behavioral change — when it is done right. It is more than just points, badges and leader boards. It is more about changing behavior, motivating people and collaboration. In my opinion, business could benefit quite a lot of it. We observe that companies have started to use Gamification with good results especially in HR, Learning and Education. Whenever people are involved in a Community, Team or Task, Gamification could be a boost to get to the desired outcome. It is a huge topic with a lot of pitfalls — and sometimes it doesn’t even make sense to implement it, as it is not the holy grail to solve all problems.

Hurriyet IK: Can you share some best practices in gamification? Are there any practices you find to be successful? What companies have good examples of gamification?

I am not a huge fan of best practices in respect to human focused design. Human focused design needs to always take part at the very beginning of a project, as we need to understand the human(s) first, for whom we are designing and we need to understand the company and the system as well. But I want to give some examples:

  • Ebay: bet&win
  • Amazon: rating and peer reviews
  • Fitbits and the Freelatics of the fitness world

and many more are using Gamification techniques — Sometimes just some little items, sometimes it is a complete system like Instagram or Facebook.

Hurriyet IK: Are there any countries who are ahead of others when it comes to gamification? For example, how is Turkey doing? And how about the country you live in?

North America, and Asian Countries are much ahead of using Gamification. As Accenture, we have some experience in developing gamification experiences, in Turkish market, our Fjord team, which is part of Accenture Interactive with expertise on Service Design, we delivered projects like GNCTRKCLL which is the best example of gamified engagement in the market.

Accenture Digital also recently applied Gamification on a mobile app designed for our client in insurance, Aksigorta. And we delivered multiple projects for banks, telcos and utility companies that use Gamification features to engage customers to increase awareness and educate them. The Gamification journey just begun and we have a lot to discover.

Hurriyet IK: How can a company, for example, gamify a training session? Can they do it themselves or do they need to go to a consultant?

Ohh there are multiple ways for doing it, for instance, the easiest way would be making quizzes — which will not motivate the audience too long. But what about making it an epic story, where you are the hero and help to get the bad guys (this is a more game-like approach, some people would not call Gamification). For the second question the correct answer would be, sure you need a consultant — fun aside — I know quite a lot of companies, that didn’t have any consultants back in time, the tricky part about Gamification is, there is not one way, which is set in stone — it is as well a lot about trial and error, to find the best solution. A lot can be done wrong while implementing it, I would recommend to hire a consultant as a partner, who helps you understand, ideate and implement gamified systems.

Hurriyet IK: Can you share examples of gamification at Accenture that you implemented? Which ones attracted the most attention?

Back in the years we implemented a Collaboration System it is called A3 Program, we are still using it and like many systems it is mostly about collecting points, badges and leader boards. We as well have something called 30-Days Challenge, which we implement a lot for various clients, for sure tailored to their needs and purpose.

Hurriyet IK: How do you measure the results of gamification? Do you have any research conducted on this?

It is like, how to measure a good design. We can measure the contribution of people before and after, as well you can measure on how the people liked it and if it had an impact for instance on your security — right behavior when data loss or abuse is recognized. For every system/ application/ implementation to have analytics behind it is necessary especially to understand if the mechanics are the right to use or if something needs to be changed.

Hurriyet IK: What will you talk about at Digital Age Summit?

I will speak about Gamification in a digital world. What is gamification, why it popped up (for some; “out of a sudden”) and what it may have to do with you, us as human beings, and why a digital world has a huge impact on it. Games are a quite old invention, but with the digital age and the digital transformation there came new eras of it, like MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplay Games) and with the rise of it, there came the question “WHY?” and people like Jane McGonigal who brought it into the public. I want to share my enthusiastic view on it and hope to show you the human side of technology.

Follow me on my journey trough the design & gamification world — let’s play!


Thanks for reading — I’m Jasmin Deniz Karatas. I’m a Strategic Designer & Gamifier.

/// If you have thoughts on the article, share it with me. Thanks! ///

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Also published on Medium.


Originally published at Jasmin Deniz Karatas.

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