Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that hiring a team of game designers is a workable solution.
Games are games, and they’re so much fun because they’re designed for fast progression. Education will unavoidably fail to deliver speedy rewards because it challenges your mind to grow and stretch at times. Similar to sports, there will be phases when more effort is required to reach the next level. And to overcome this strenuous phase, each learner needs an individual inner goal-setting to succeed. We do not learn just for the sake of learning like we play for the sake of playing. Instead, we learn when we want an outcome that we won’t have if we don’t change what we know. Often there is a lack of immediate benefit.
In my opinion, every educational product should cater to the individual needs of its users. So with Atlas, we didn’t just want to develop a solution for a broad audience and focus on quality content. We also took a lot of time and effort to think about how content should be presented to reach our user’s minds. One of our leading scientists, who’s also a professor of philosophy, often told me:
I think you, the designer, are responsible for bridging the last mile to the brain.
So when talking about presentation, I don’t just mean aesthetics, but interactions, contextuality, timing, visualizations and mental models. The interface was not to be set in stone; its parts and modules would rather fall into place, forming custom learning paths for each of our students.