Preface (to Playful User Interfaces)

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    This book is about user interfaces to applications that can be considered as ‘playful’. The interfaces to such applications should be ‘playful’ as well. The application should be fun, and interacting with such an application should, of course, be fun as well. Maybe more. Why not expect that the interface is persuasive, engaging, challenging and aims at helping to provide the user with fun, trying to keep the user motivated, not frustrated or bored, or, in terms of ‘flow theory’, in a state where there is a balance between skills and challenges? Obviously, we can introduce playful interfaces to boring tasks and tasks that require efficiency in the first place. Also such tasks can profit from interfaces that introduce playful elements, for example, performance statistics and competition elements, or personalized and motivating conversational agents. But of course, we can expect that most useful applications of ‘playful interfaces’, appear where users have to interact with computers, sensor-equipped environments, social robots, wearables, and mobile devices that are embedded in smart environments that support our general daily-life activities and that are not directly aimed at efficiency. Gamification of society aims at introducing playful elements in our digitally supported daily activities, whether it is about home activities, work activities, public space activities or recreational activities. Playful interfaces, that is, interfaces that allow playful interactions with such activities are then required.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPlayful User Interfaces
    Subtitle of host publicationInterfaces that Invite Social and Physical Interaction
    EditorsAnton Nijholt
    Place of PublicationBerlin
    Number of pages3
    ISBN (Electronic)978-981-4560-96-2
    ISBN (Print)978-981-4560-95-5
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2014

    Publication series

    NameGaming Media and Social effects
    PublisherSpringer Verlag
    ISSN (Print)2197-9685


    • EWI-24189
    • Mobile games
    • Games
    • Interactive Playgrounds
    • METIS-303980
    • Entertainment computing
    • Playful interfaces
    • IR-90547
    • Child Computer Interaction
    • Exertion games
    • Interface design


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