This category includes affordances related to the three psychological needs introduced by Self-Determination Theory (competence, autonomy, and relatedness), as well as purpose and meaning, which facilitate internalization SDT, and immersion RRA.


Purpose and Meaning

Affordances aimed at helping users identify a meaningful goal that will be achieved through the system and can benefit the users themselves or other people.


I1. Meaning

The system clearly helps users identify a meaningful contribution (to themselves or to others).

Guiding Questions

Does the system provide enough context for the user to understand the benefits (to themselves or to others) of what they are doing?


I2. Information and Reflection

The system clearly helps users identify a meaningful contribution (to themselves or to others).

Guiding Questions

Does the system provide information that allows the user to reflect on their real-life achievements and how to improve themselves outside of the system?


References

OCT  Epic Meaning and Calling
HEX  Philanthropist
SUP  Epic Win
REC  Information and Reflection


Challenge and Competence

Affordances aimed at helping users satisfy their intrinsic need of competence through accomplishing difficult challenges or goals.


I3. Increasing Challenge

The system offers challenges that grow with the user’s skill.

Guiding Questions

Does the system present challenges in a way that motivates the user to tackle them?
Is the difficulty of the challenges adjusted to the user’s ability and skill?
Do the challenges’ difficulty increase over time?


I4. Onboarding

The system offers initial challenges for newcomers that help them learn how it works.

Guiding Questions

Does the system present an initial tutorial or explanation of the first steps the user should take?
Is the tutorial or initial explanation challenging and fun?


I5. Self-challenge

The system helps users discover or create new challenges to test themselves.

Guiding Questions

Does the system offer features to allow the user to create their own challenges?


References

OCT  Development and Accomplishment
MDL  Challenge lenses and Intrinsic rewards
HEX  Achiever
KEG  Competence: Challenge
SUP  Challenge yourself and Battle the bad guys
REC  Engagement


Completeness and Mastery

Affordances aimed at helping users satisfy their intrinsic need of competence by completing series of tasks or collecting virtual achievements.


I6. Progressive Goals

The system always presents the next goals users can pursue that are immediately achievable.

Guiding Questions

Does the system always present a new goal right after the user completes the current goal?
Are the suggested new goals immediately achievable (adequate to the user’s ability and skill)?
Are the suggested new goals always a bit more difficult than the previous?


I7. Achievement

The system lets users keeps track of their achievements or advancements.

Guiding Questions

Does the system allow the user to keep track of their achievements and/or completed goals?
Is the achievement tracking meaningful, i.e., does it help the user understand which new abilities or skills were acquired after each achievement or what rewards were awarded?


References

OCT  Development and Accomplishment
MDL  Goal lenses, Action lenses, and Intrinsic rewards
HEX  Achiever
KEG  Competence: Achievements
SUP  Seek out and complete quests


Autonomy and Creativity

Affordances aimed at helping users satisfy their intrinsic need of autonomy by offering meaningful choices and opportunities for self-expression.


I8. Choice

The system provides users with choices on what to do or how to do something, which are interesting but also limited in scope according to each user’s capacity.

Guiding Questions

Does the system let the user freely choose their goals and tasks?
Does the system offer multiple paths for achieving similar results?
Does the system present choices that are adequate for the user’s ability and skills (i.e. don’t present too many choices at the beginning when the user does not understand all the choices)?
Does the system clearly inform the user about the available choices and their consequences?


I9. Self-expression

The system lets users express themselves or create new content.

Guiding Questions

Does the system let the user create new content for themselves or other users?
Does the system let the user express themselves (e.g. avatars, personalized pages, status messages, etc.)?


I10. Freedom

The system lets users experiment with new or different paths without fear or serious consequences.

Guiding Questions

Does the system offer multiple paths for achieving similar results?
Does the system let the user experiment with different paths without fear or serious consequences (e.g. they can go back and follow another path if the experiment does not work)?


References

OCT  Empowerment of Creativity and Feedback
MDL  Object lenses and Intrinsic rewards
HEX  Free Spirit
KEG  Autonomy
REC  Play and Choice


Relatedness

Affordances aimed at helping users satisfy their intrinsic need of relatedness through social interaction, usually with other users.


I11. Social Interaction

The system lets users connect and interact socially.

Guiding Questions

Does the system offer means for the user to interact with other users?
Are social interactions meaningful for the application, i.e., do they help users achieve their goals?


I12. Social Cooperation

The system offers the opportunity of users working together towards achieving common goals.

Guiding Questions

Does the system offer means for users to work together towards achieving common goals?
Are users adequately rewarded proportionally to the effort they invested in the collaborative work?


I13. Social Competition

The system lets users compare themselves with others or challenge other users.

Guiding Questions

Does the system offer means for users to compare themselves with others?
Does the system offer means for users to compete or challenge other users?


I14. Fairness

The system offers similar opportunities of success and progression for everyone and means for newcomers to feel motivated even when comparing themselves with veterans.

Guiding Questions

Is progression in the system balanced and fair, i.e., do all users have equal chance of achievement if they put the same effort and time into the system?
Do the system offer means for newcomers to progress at their own pace without feeling diminished by the progress of other users that are already ahead of them?


References

OCT  Social Influence and Relatedness
MDL  Intrinsic rewards
HEX  Socialiser
KEG  Relatedness
SUP  Recruit your allies
REC  Engagement


Immersion

Affordances aimed at immersing users into the system to improve their aesthetic experience, usually by means of a theme, narrative, or story, which can be real or fictional.


I15. Narrative

The system offers users a meaningful narrative or story with which they can relate to.

Guiding Questions

Does the system feature a theme or story that provides an aesthetic experience?
Is the theme or story meaningful and connected to the users’ goals?
Is the theme or story clearly explained?


I16. Perceived Fun

The system affords users the possibility of interacting with and being part of the story (easy fun).

Guiding Questions

Does the system allow the user to interact with and influence the story?
Does the way a user influences the story also extend its influence to other users?


References

KEG  Perceived Fun
SUP  Adopt a secret identity
REC  Exposition