Ep 016 Ahmed Hossam, designing gamification and making sure it works

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Ahmed Hossam is The International Gamification Confederation (Gamfed) Ambassador in Egypt. He is a keynote speaker, consultant, designer and facilitator on gamification. He is currently the president of Gamification Egypt and the founder of Gampact. Ahmed is one of the of the top pioneers in gamification in the Middle-East, he has been in the “Global Gamification Gurus Power 100” since 2015 and in July 2017 he was rated #2. He has helped a variety of companies, from seed stage startups to Fortune 500 companies such as HP, Oracle, Vodafone, AUC, Abudawood and many more… Ahmed has been interested in the concept of Gamification ever since 2005.

Ahmed starts his day with creativity, looking for a new idea. So he doesn’t start with sports, he goes for innovation first, looking for new ways to create impact. He’s also looking for ways to be helpful as GamFed ambassador in Egypt, as gamification is still just catching up there.

One of his early designs, they were trying to engage employees to be more productive, that included a points system through the equations that he delivered to the admin inside the company who would manage the system. He asked to be one of the players and the day before the launch they created an event that was included in the system and, for some reason, they decided to start with a negative amount of points, 26,000! This was clearly not motivating. The first lesson is that, as a designer, you have to be on top of everything, especially for the launch. The second is that clients don’t necessarily know everything, so keep an eye to make sure things are created according to what you designed.

Ahmed also spoke about a course that he designed for a company. The content was really tough! It used to have really bad results, they had a hard time understanding if the learning objectives were achieved. So Ahmed designed a fantasy world, that also created a strong team spirit, through team building activities in a game. It had a hero-type of story, they teleported from the fantasy world into the real world and connecting what they learned in the game into their everyday work. There is a lot more detail in his explanation, so listen to it for more details! He also has a bonus second story about a technical course.

He uses many of the tools out there for gamification, depending on the project. His own process combines and builds upon other models such as the Hooked Model of Nir Eyal, An Coppens and Monica Cornetti’s model in learning, also Yu-kai Chou’s Octalysis, as well as his own which will be published soon! It considers the Hero Journey, the nudging concept and others. In the future, we will find more information on both of his websites: gampact.com and ahossam.com.

He feels there is no definitive best practice but that the fundamental thing is to understand the objective and apply deep user research to understand the user. His favorite game is Age of Empires II!

Ahmed would love to hear of Nir Eyal in Professor Game, talking about his Hooked Model and how it is really useful for gamification.

Ahmed has validated his superpower with clients and people who know his work. His superpower is the connection between creativity and the objectives. He is not the most creative but he has a great ability to link the ideas he comes up with to the objectives and achieves the results.

His final advice is that not only what but how students learn is extremely important. The sources of learning are now everywhere and gamification is a crucial way to engage learners to get them into the best experience.

If you want to connect with Ahmed Hossam you can do so through his personal web page ahossam.com or company web page gampact.com, through social media on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn. He’d be more than happy to answer questions and be helpful!

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