The re-designed game board experience for Who You Are MATTERS!

What is Who You Are Matters?

Who You Are MATTERS! (WYAM) is an interactive self-discovery experience that was developed by Career Cycles (a career coaching organization). WYAM is played as a board game in small groups and is facilitated by a career counsellor. It’s intended to “spark meaningful conversation and help participants connect the dots in their professional and personal lives.”

The Opportunity

Career Cycles wanted to create an new and improved version of WYAM and they asked me to help them improve the overall user experience and visual design.

I led the team through a series of collaborative design workshops which included requirements gathering, concept development and prototyping. I also provided art direction and print production services to execute the new design.

The Discovery & Re-Design Process

The discovery process included observational research, stakeholder interviews and reviewing participant feedback forms. This process was valuable in that it revealed the pain points of the original WYAM experience as well as desired core outcomes. Observational research was most fruitful in that it revealed that the complexity of the original WYAM game mechanics were presenting a cognitive burden that was interfering with participant’s ability to achieve core outcomes. We streamlined the game mechanics so that the participants spent less time and mental energy learning rules and more time reflecting on the content and interacting fellow participants. We also tweaked the content of the cards, so that language was more “user-centric” and succinct.

I led a design workshop where we identified and prioritized core components and outcomes. During the design process several design concepts were considered, so sketching was used to present the ideas efficiently. Other design artifacts included mood-boards, layout mockups and game board prototypes.

Prototyping the re-designed experience was an effective way to ensure that core outcomes were achieved without eliminating valuable parts of the experience (e.g., it was apparent that people really valued the conversations that the game generated). It also gave us the opportunity to make other tweaks to improved the experience (such as making the type on the cards larger and adjusting the size of the game board).

Some concepts, like those in the above sketch, didn’t make it through the rigorous set of design criteria.
Above: The new visual story linking card content to the campfire metaphor is an integral part of the improved experience.
Above: The content of the game is presented on cards which are unified by the “build a campfire under the stars” metaphor. The redesign process revealed the need to optimize and edit this content so that it was more succinct and user-friendly.
Above: During the game, participants are encouraged to record their experiences on the “Career Sketch”.

"Excellent opportunity to explore, consider and reflect... 5 out of 5 – I consider the game to be a engaging experience."

− Anthony Hopkins, Director, Careers & Employer Partnerships Centre, Ryerson University

"In terms of useful and worthwhile outcomes you walk away with, it’s not like any game I’ve played."

− Professor Carolyn Dobbyn, George Brown College

If you’d like to learn more about Who You Are Matters or Career Cycles, please check out their website.