Document Type


Lead Author Type

CIS Masters Student


Dr. Jonathan Engelsma,

Committee Members

Dr. Christian Trefftz,; Dr. Yonglei Tao,

Embargo Period



Planning the development of a smartphone application with user engagement in mind is a creative process that involves the incorporation of elements that encourage a sustainable longitudinal connection with its users. As more and more smartphone applications are introduced in the various application ecosystems, sustained user engagement has become very challenging and unpredictable.

Incorporating game elements into applications is one technique that appears particularly promising with regard to increased engagement. This process is referred to as gamification. The availability of inexpensive high quality flat panel displays has increased the use of digital signage in public places, and raises another interesting question: can the integration of smartphone app experiences with shared situated displays be used to encourage sustained engagement with users? This project investigates both of these opportunities as a way to encourage smartphone engagement. An existing campus app (that lacked an engaged user base) was enhanced with game features, and integrated into a series of situated displays. By comparing analytics data collected during the experiment, we can conclude that gamification encouraged engagement, but the impact of the shared displays was not conclusive.