Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Graphics Technology

First Advisor

James L Mohler

Second Advisor

David M Whittinghill

Committee Member 1

Mary A Sadowski

Committee Member 2

Patrick E Connolly

Committee Member 3

Bedrich Benes


This study examined using the user-centered design (UCD) approach in gamification product development with the research question, "What opinions do experienced gamification designers have in using the UCD method as they develop and design gamification products?" Through the multi- phase interactions between researcher and participants of this Delphi study, specific survey questions were developed such as, how does the UCD method work in gamification design, how well does it work, and suggestions on how it should be used. Gamification design experts were recruited as research participants and four Delphi rounds of data collection were conducted. Thirtythree design heuristics within five themes (UCD workflow, defining players, play testing, gamification evaluation, and user participation) about using UCD in gamification were created from Phase A. Participants’ consensus on these design heuristics were examined through three rounds in phase B: four design heuristics or statements were removed, seven design heuristics or statements did not reach consensus based on a series of stability calculations, and all the remaining design heuristics reached consensus. Findings of this research also included gamification design challenges and recommended references for gamification design beginners. This document includes a listing of design heuristics and recommendations, as well as suggestions for future studies on gamification design.