Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, the former head of the department of psychology at the University of Chicago and regarded by some as the world’s leading researcher on positive psychology, introduced a seminal piece a research in this regard when he defined “The Flow”. People are happiest when they are in a state of flow—a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand and the situation. Csikszentmihalyi characterized nine component states of achieving flow including challenge-skill balance, merging of action and awareness, clarity of goals, immediate and unambiguous feedback, concentration on the task at hand, paradox of control, transformation of time, loss of self-consciousness, and autotelic experience. To achieve a flow state, a balance must be struck between the challenge of the task and the skill of the performer. If the task is too easy or too difficult, flow cannot occur. Both skill level and challenge level must be matched and high; if skill and challenge are low and matched, then apathy results.
At Moroku we believe that looking at the customer as a player whom we want to understand the game, get into The Flow and build skills to mastery is an enormously powerful approach to player experience design. We believe that it is perhaps the most customer centric approach to design as it harneses their need for play and reward as well as the organisation’s ultimate objective of getting their customers to win.