Shire: Behavior Modification Game

A Game that Helps Building Habits for People who Want to Go Outdoors

Shire provides an opportunity to get the user into the nature. Users will capture actual plants in nature and plant them into the virtual garden. To keep people continuously going out, the sunlight and humidity of the garden are controlled by the steps that the users took around plants and nature. Each identified plant can be used only once in the game. The user can also access to the garden of their friends' as well as their plant-capture records.

Ideation Studio
6 weeks

My Roles
UX/UI Design
Process Book

Maggie Wang
Siyi Kou

Secondary Research

We started with research on the theories ofbehaviour change and gamification, and on our interested topic. We also created a mind map to categorise and link the theories and data that we found about the topics, behaviour change and theories of game designs together to gain a better understanding of the problem space. It assisted us to see what theories are useful in solving which problems, and to find gaps and stimulate further research.

Problem Space

Walking around nature is good for people's mental and physical health. Moreover, many city dwellers do search for places where they can explore green, for example, national parks or hiking spots. However, none of the top holiday types that people actually choose brings people closer to plants. From here we find an intention-action gap. People's action simply does not follow up on their intention.


Throughout our design process, we used a range of design methods. As we narrow down our focus, these methods helped us analyze our design and pushed us into thinking the process more thoroughly. We did not just focus on the strong points of the games, but also their weakness. Finally, we came done to our most robust idea.

Action Verb exercise: Write down verbs that are important for the game and create quick sketches using the words. It helped us to stimulate ideas on the functions to be included in the game.

Brain Dump exercise: A page of unrestricted drawings centred around a concept. This helped us visualise the style (or theme, in the terms of game design theories) that we want for the game.

Concept Development

Shire is a mobile game that helps people approach nature by combining plant-identication technology with virtual gardening games. Our game gives extra motivation for people to go out and enjoy nature.


Group A: People who want to explore nature but do not have enough motivation to do so.

Group B: People who are already exploring nature.

We want each user’s garden to be a self-contained ecosystem, and to incorporate traveling experience of the users so that they could view where and when they got their plants, and the plants could act as a souvenir of their past trips. In addition, we also want users to be able to connect with their friends on the system and be able to see their friends’ garden. As we ideate on how to visualize this information, the concept of individual floating islands comes to our mind. As the British poet John Donne says, no man is an island. We see it in three ways: we are connected to our past, to our friends, and to nature. Our game encourages and motivates people to connect to their friend, their past and nature.

Final Thoughts

After several iterations of research, ideation and evaluation, we have a mobile game that motivates people to go out instead of trapping them in door.

Our game is not powerful enough to guarantee a behavior change for anyone who has the intention of approaching nature. However we provide a platform for people to build up plans for action and bring an extra motivation to change intention into action.

This design process consists of research, concept development, concept refinement, interface design, critique, and redesign. During each stage, we had critique and feedback from people who work in the industry as well as in the studio. This helped us find out a lot of limitations and the way to eliminate them.


1. Identify potential technology to be employed in the game.

2. Build clickable prototype.

3. Run usability tests with potential users.