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Motivation-By-Numbers

By Russ Starke on June 24, 2010

In case you missed it, our last post declared Stephen Anderson’s “Serious Play: Designing Seductive Business Apps” our favorite talk from the Philly stop of the UIE Web App Masters Tour (not that there weren’t plenty of other highpoints).

I made a note during that talk to revisit Malone & Co.’s Theory Of Motivation, because although that model was first proposed in the context of instructional design (specifically, in the early days of computer-based instruction – we’re talking 1981 here), the concepts that Stephen was employing seemed to be the same universal ones captured and organized by Malone & Lepper all those years ago.

Illustration By Mike Colibraro

I found some great practical discussion on motivation and a Spartan but incredibly useful chart (content is king, after all) in the course notes for one of Edward Vockell’s Educational Psychology courses at Purdue Calumet. Check out the chart here, and pay close attention to the Related Guidelines column…because IT’S ALL RIGHT THERE! (UPDATE: this chart seems to no longer be online, but you can get a decent overview here at least) One little chart, and it’s the instruction book on how to design for motivation – no matter the technology or the channel. These are the keys to the kingdom, friends!

P.S. If this stuff brings out your inner geek the way it brings out mine, be sure to click through some of the links below the chart as well.