DeReFrame: a design-research framework to study game mechanics and game aesthetics in an engineering design process
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The main aim of this research is to study gaming techniques and elements that may potentially be beneficial to the future development of CAD systems for engineering design, in particular to maintain cognitive engagement. A design-research framework, called DeReFrame, was employed to construct an experimental game-based CAD framework exploring this. This research is based on reviews from the literature and experimental studies and include quantitative and qualitative data analysis methods measuring engineers’ performance and emotional responses. The thesis presents the construction process of the framework (DeReframe) to study a set of game mechanics and game aesthetics in an engineering design process and compare this with the traditional CAD. The framework was used to design and implement a game-based CAD system, called ICAD which was embedded with the following game mechanics of Directional Goals, Progression, Performance-Feedback and Rewards-Achievement. The DeReFrame and ICAD evolved through the experimental studies. In each case, selected game mechanics were at the core of each interaction and iteration which gave rise to feelings of progress, competence and mastery. The final results from the DeReFrame framework and ICAD indicated that gamified approaches should be included in engineering design with CAD: in particular the game mechanics of performance feedback and rewards-achievements influence engineers’ behaviour by supporting them within the problem-solving process creating an engaging-challenging interaction. In conclusion, this research has shown that a framework, that includes both engineering requirements and gamified aspects into consideration, cam serve as a basis for implementing game-based CAD to facilitate performance by providing engaging experiences for engineers.