Flow Theory as applied to UI

29 Nov 2006 - 1:03pm
7 years ago
3 replies
1283 reads
Lorne Trudeau
2006

Here's a very interesting game that applies some pretty unique UI
concepts to support a concept entitled "flow theory."

Flow theory [is] a psychological concept first developed by Claremont
Graduate University's Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi ... it mostly boils down
to impulsive, easy-to-understand gameplay that eliminates disruptions.
Nothing comes between the gamer and the experience -- no menus, no
tutorials, no prompts or instructions; most of all, no dying.

http://tinyurl.com/yafs7b

(wsj.com)

Lorne

Comments

29 Nov 2006 - 1:45pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

Flow is not necessarily the result of research into gameplay. It's a
well-researched mental state in which people become so immersed in what
they're doing that time and space elapse. Games can certainly be designed to
incite this type of mental state, however.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)

-r-

On 11/29/06, Lorne Trudeau <lorne.trudeau at number41media.com> wrote:
>
> Here's a very interesting game that applies some pretty unique UI
> concepts to support a concept entitled "flow theory."
>
> Flow theory [is] a psychological concept first developed by Claremont
> Graduate University's Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi ... it mostly boils down
> to impulsive, easy-to-understand gameplay that eliminates disruptions.
> Nothing comes between the gamer and the experience -- no menus, no
> tutorials, no prompts or instructions; most of all, no dying.
>
> http://tinyurl.com/yafs7b
>
> (wsj.com)
>
>
>
> Lorne
>
> ________________________________________________________________
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29 Nov 2006 - 8:44pm
Jeff Howard
2004

This is interesting. Reminds me of some of Ferry Halim's work over at
orisinal.com.

http://www.ferryhalim.com/orisinal/

Same soothing music and meandering game play, though the relative
lack of challenge (in both cases) seems to fall short of the academic
criteria for flow-inducing activities. More interesting is that the
design philosopy articulated by the creators of the flOw game is
pretty much in lock-step with what Nintendo is pursuing for the Wii,
but was picked up by Sony for the PS3.

// jeff

29 Nov 2006 - 9:11pm
trevvg
2006

I wrote my master's thesis on linking the physiological characteristics of
flow with emotional state and design. The wikipedia article lists the
components of flow. Adapted here for interaction design, I would probably
annotate them like this...

The cause of flow experience is:

Focused attention that occurs when a challenge is represented, from either
internal or external sources, and...

- The user's physiological state (described as the range between anxiety
and boredom) is balanced, because the skills a person has are well-matched
to the challenges of the situation; neither too easy nor too difficult

This also occurs in a particular context where at least some of these
conditions hold true. The context is a familar one to usability
practitioners and designers. One of:

- Clear goals (expectations and rules are obvious/available)
- Immediate feedback (successes and failures are apparent, so behavior can
be adjusted)

Where there is a:

- Sense of personal control over the situation or activity

And..

- The activity may be intrinsically rewarding

Some of the sensations you may experience during this state include:

- A loss of the feeling of self-consciousness (merged action and awareness).
- A distorted sense of time - subjective experience of time is altered.

For some neat graphs, check out Kevin Capota's site at:

http://www.design-emotion.com/lemtool/?p=49

He summarizes a bunch of the research I did on flow and emotions.

-trevvg-

> Flow is not necessarily the result of research into gameplay. It's a
> well-researched mental state in which people become so immersed in what
> they're doing that time and space elapse. Games can certainly be designed
> to
> incite this type of mental state, however.
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)
>
> -r-
>
>
>
> On 11/29/06, Lorne Trudeau <lorne.trudeau at number41media.com> wrote:
>>
>> Here's a very interesting game that applies some pretty unique UI
>> concepts to support a concept entitled "flow theory."
>>
>> Flow theory [is] a psychological concept first developed by Claremont
>> Graduate University's Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi ... it mostly boils down
>> to impulsive, easy-to-understand gameplay that eliminates disruptions.
>> Nothing comes between the gamer and the experience -- no menus, no
>> tutorials, no prompts or instructions; most of all, no dying.
>>
>> http://tinyurl.com/yafs7b
>>
>> (wsj.com)
>>
>>
>>
>> Lorne
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

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