Play Thinking

Good digital products make it easy to get a job done. Great digital products make it fun, meaningful, and emotionally rewarding to do so.

Screen fatigue is reaching an all-time high in our radically digital world, and businesses are competing on digital customer experience more fiercely than ever.

There is an unprecedented opportunity for design that focuses not just on jobs to be done but joy to be had.

What is
Play Thinking?

Put simply, it is a design ethos that values emotion and experience just as highly as function and outcomes. What makes it unique is the way it pursues emotional responses as key outputs of the design process, rather than as byproducts of desirable outcomes.

Although closely associated with games and gaming, Play Thinking is not to be confused with gamification.

Gamification grafts surface-level game design elements onto products in order to influence user behaviour.

Play Thinking is more holistic, using the fundamental principles underpinning games and other playful experiences to create meaning and evoke positive emotions for users, which in turn drives better business outcomes.

How can Play Thinking improve business performance?

In practice, Play Thinking can help businesses enhance product experiences across a number of crucial performance areas:


Driving greater engagement and retention


Driving better adoption and onboarding


Driving word of mouth and higher Net Promoter Scores


Driving more connections and virality

Download the Play Thinking Playbook

Keen to learn more? Fill out the contact form to get your very own copy of our Play Thinking Playbook (PDF).

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