Why I call myself a Strategic Designer & Gamifier

… what they don’t tell you about to be a designer is how hard it actually is to be one. While my journey becoming and being a designer, many questions popped up in my mind. But at the end all leading to one big question: “What is design?”

I know that this question seems very trivial, but it’s not — not for me. I for myself can’t give you the all solving answer, but I can give you my answer to it:

“Design is inspiration and it is my inspiration for change. I see design as something that has the power to reach people. To reach them by heart, because design is deeply linked with us. Every day we wake up and living in a designed world. And everybody is part of it.

But we may got blind of what design really is. We tend to see just the famous iconic persons — the Starcks, the Lagerfelds, the Ives, the Louis Vuittons of the business. We tend to think, that this is design. And yes it is design, but it is likewise the www and the deep web. The most of it is not visible at first sight.

1-E9bJk8-2kvaPtQhFmEYBHwThere are more things to consider in a design process than making something look nice and beautiful! Than making things more shiny, more glamorous, more state of the art, more hipster, more elegant, more…

A designer has to ask himself a lot of questions during the design process. For example, what kind of person or group of persons is the product aimed at? Process, service or product? Who are my stakeholders? What is already existing? What identity does the company has for which I am designing? What are the real needs and wishes of the target group? Why they should use it? What I want them to feel why they are using it? What kind of experience and emotions do I want to trigger? …

While my studies at the HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd and The Royal Danish Design Academy of Fine Arts years ago, I got more interested in Design Thinking and methods of Innovation management, as well in game theory as part of the design process (some would call it Gamification, some would call it Human-Focused Design, I don’t bother how you want to name it — I will just go with the hype and call it Gamification).

I pushed myself to see design from another point of view, to gain a new personal perspective. Right from the begin I was very interested of the correlation of theory, science and design, how they are interacting and linked with each other. It became clear, that the classical Product Design wouldn’t quite satisfy me. I got interested how products, processes and services are made in the front end of design, also called the fuzzy front end.

Design for me it is more about the idea, the expression, the enablement of others, the feelings and emotions — that 1-RDHN6g6E1tasm6Rr9OPxVgwhat drives us, what makes us human, what motivates us. It is more about the process, the steps of the game to reach the aim. So I try to become my own “design heroin”! Create my own vision of design, which by any respect doesn’t mean, that it is a totally new approach or revolutionizing the business!

Design as a process. A process of interaction between different factors which is grounded in scientific approach, human value and intuition also known as User Experience, Human-Centered Design or Human-Focused Design (where Gamification takes action). I believe as a designer you are able to help people, companies and even politicians to understand the necessity to carefully design these processes. In a world of innovation and change I believe that design is a very strong tool. In the time of changing values and a more and more unpredictable world, I really think that design in combination with management, Design Thinking and Gamification could gain a big benefit not only for leading companies but as well for the whole way an economy is structured and the world around us.

Design is change — it is a tool for methodology with processes that make mankind the center of attention. Design is economical profit — it benefits from participatory feedback loops and can visualize them at a high level of quality. As a designer, I am able to see the strategic benefit of a design driven process. For me solutions combined with information technology are a chance to get the best out of people.

It’s a philosophy of life. A practice. If you do this, something will change, what will change is that you will change, your life will change, and if you can change you, you can perhaps change the world. 
— Vivienne Westwood

I think that if you use technology in the right way you can change things for the better, it helps us to create faster and better systems, to motivate people the right way and help them to even grow bigger. People are the greatest resource we have in this world. And we should not waste it — we should empower it!

As information and data are growing bigger, we have the task to design new ways which allow us to handle that scope, and to reach out to companies to show them how they can make a stand and improve their performance in a digital ruled society.

Finding ways to handle that scope and deliver the outcome to companies in order to improve them, is the reason why I see myself as a Strategic Designer & Gamifier. Human-Focused Design is my passion and I truly believe in the power of change.

So let’s build together the world of tomorrow — today!”


Thanks for reading — I’m Jasmin Deniz Karatas. I’m a Strategic Designer & Gamifier.