Gaming and Attention Management for Enterprises

March 1, 2007 at 9:17 am | Posted in Attention Management, Gaming | 1 Comment

Gaming and attention management from an actual product? Do tell!

An enterprise productivity application inspired by successful interactive games

Attent™ with Serios™ is an enterprise productivity application inspired by multiplayer online games. It tackles the problem of information overload in corporate email using psychological and economic principles from successful games. Attent creates a synthetic economy with a currency (Serios) that enables users to attach value to an outgoing email to signal importance. It gives recipients the ability to prioritize messages and a reserve of currency that they can use to signal importance of their messages to others. Attent also provides a variety of tools that enable everyone to track and analyze communication patterns and information exchanges in the enterprise.

From Seriosity

Being a former game developer and now attention management devotee, I think what enterprise productivity advocates can learn from gaming (by way of attention management) is that people get more done when they are enjoying themselves. More specifically for enterprises, grabbing and keeping gamer’s attention requires an easy to understand interface that obscures complexity (revealing it only as needed), a well-developed reward system, and rapid response times. Any time an interfaces begins to confuse the user, the user does not feel like they are making measurable progress, or system delays break their stride, the user’s attention will wander and you risk not getting it back (especially in gaming where stopping play does not stop your paycheck as well).

Introduction of monetary units is more like economic game playing than real game playing. I think its a fascinating experiment and would enjoy seeing it in action to learn about the behavior of information workers and the value they place on messages and their attention. But as a real tool to help enterprises over a long period of time I’m dubious.

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