Gametize Hub

Gamification Expert Series: Dyti Dawn, Lead of Learning Experience @ FocusU Academy

by Vanessa Dolores Chan / July 12 2021

Welcome to our fifth Gamification Expert Series!

In this series, we feature industry experts as they share their knowledge, tips and tricks, and advice on how to gamify programs in their organizations. In our fifth Gamification Expert Series, we catch up with Dyti Dawn, one of Gametize’s global champions as she shares with us her approach of applying gamification in her training workshops in India.

Dyti focuses on designing learning experiences which are impactful and engaging for learners. She is passionate about leveraging technology to make learning more accessible, experiential and social.

She is also a certified Firo-B practitioner and holds a specialization in “Foundations of Positive Psychology” from the University of Pennsylvania. She also possesses a wealth of expertise in the areas of Instructional Design, Mobile Microlearning, Competency based development and Assessment Design.

With Gametize, she is actively working on designing story-based learning experiences around skills such as design thinking and unlocking creativity. As quoted from Dyti: “When you think about Gamification – you think about fun and engagement – but we are leveraging gamification to drive some serious learning!”

Apart from work, she loves to read and has a special place in her heart for classic fiction and magical realism. She usually spends her time with her dog and family or explores the world with her equal half, Savio. Through travelling, Dyti instilled a deep appreciation for diversity and the positivity in people and cultures. She loves to share personal anecdotes of her travels and experiences through her writing.

She is inspired by the quotes of Rumi, a 13th- century Persian poet, and one of her favourites is :“Live where you fear to live.”

How Dyti grew to become an expert in Learning Experience Design

Gametize: Hi Dyti! Thank you for taking time to speak to us today! Let’s get started – can you tell us more about your background, and how you got to where you are today?
Dyti: I started my career in Human Resources at an automotive company, working in various subdomains ranging from sales HR, Talent Management, to implementing diversity & inclusion policies. I worked closely with the sales teams, participating in customer interactions and dealership visits. That’s where I got to witness the hard work of the sales team at the frontline and how it impacted the policies we make and initiatives we do. I started working with the sales team to create training modules and saw the impact of a good training design. The experience with the sales team sparked my interest in the learning domain. With that, the interest developed into a passion and there was no looking back.
Gametize: What is it about the learning domain that interests you?

Dyti: It was interesting to see the impact of good learning design on our motivations, behaviors and actions. I love to explore multiple ways to make learning experiential, scalable and social. A well designed learning experience could create insights and neural connections that could impact the way we see and perceive the world.

Gametize: It’s great hearing your story on how your passion developed! So, how did you find FocusU Engage and what are your current roles in the company?

Dyti: This is one good story! FocusU Engage was actually one of my learning partners when I was leading capability building for field employees at a previous organization. I was deeply impressed by the quality of delivery, attention to detail and learning insights that the FocusU team provided. Over time, I interacted with a few more FocusU members and loved the vibrancy, passion and humility in the team. Once I was ready to embrace learning as a career option, I decided to join FocusU and I have never looked back.

In FocusU, I started my journey by establishing the Microlearning Category. I also design and facilitate live/virtual instructor-led sessions. Currently, I am working on a new self-paced gamified and ‘storified’ offering. It’s still cooking!

[Editor’s Note: the new offering that Dyti has mentioned is the FocusU Academy, where she is the lead of Learning Experience Design. We’ll share more later]
Gametize: As a Learning Experience Design expert, what are some challenges you face and what’s your approach in tackling them?

Dyti : Corporate learning has a notorious reputation of being too boring, too serious or irrelevant. The biggest challenge that we deal with today is to make learning simple, meaningful, fun and relevant. And while doing all this, how do we ensure that learning feels like an adventure, like an exploration? Imagine, as a kid, the first time you played with dough or you got wet in the rain or explored a cave? Can we make learning feel like that?

[Editor’s Note: in a later section, Dyti will share more about how she used gamification and Gametize to achieve the above]
Gametize: Interesting! That sounds similar to the 5D framework that we have at Gametize. Alright, back on topic – what’s your approach in tackling these challenges?
Dyti: We start by understanding what the learner requires to learn at work, the behaviors they need to demonstrate, and the decisions and choices they need to make. We then take a deeper look at the challenges the learner faces. We then translate our understanding to specific learning objectives and then design learning activities that are fun and engaging.
Gametize: What keeps you engaged in what you do?
Dyti : The entire process of discovery, problem solving, seeking the truth, uncovering new opportunities and overcoming the fear of doing something that I thought was beyond me, keeps me on my toes everyday!

Dyti’s journey on gamification - from being the learner to the creator of the experience

Gametize: Thank you for sharing your background with us! Now, let us dive into gamification. What was your first encounter with gamification and what was your impression of it?

Dyti: My first encounter with gamification was when I was going through a learning journey about leadership skills. There was a game for us to learn more about the different influencing tools and how to use them.

I loved that I could see the immediate impact of my actions in the game and I also gained some insights from the experience that have stayed with me for a very long time. Though competition in a learning environment was not really my cup of tea -I could understand why many others loved the competition and were in it to win it!

It was an interesting experience and it heightened my interest in gamification and I started experimenting with this concept when I was creating microlearning courses. I would definitely say that a breakthrough for me was when I discovered the power of using Gametize to gamifying content.

These are the 3 tricks in my toolkit!

Customize the scores for various behaviors. I recently increased the scoring for peer comments in a game and used it as a ‘peer review’ feature to drive some serious social learning.

Bonus points can be awarded to players/participants who are genuinely participating and putting effort. To me, awarding bonus points and sharing specific points act as a feedback loop – a critical enabler to reinforce positive behaviors.
Use Achievement badges to indicate skill proficiency. We design challenges in a way that successful completion and points can indicate skill level of the learner.

Gametize: Those are great tips for individuals exploring gamification! Since we are on the topic of gamification, let’s turn our attention to your experience with the Gametize platform. How has your experience with the Gametize platform been, at FocusU?
Dyti: Gametize has made a significant impact in FocusU and it helped speed up the process of developing gamified content. There was a high adoption rate for our customers which allowed them to have better engagement for their programs. We have gone beyond just engagement projects when it comes to leveraging the power of Gametize and we are evaluating the feasibility of some serious learning engagements – such as designing leadership journeys using Gametize.

The shift from in-person to virtual programs and workshops

Gametize: We understand that a big part of FocusU’s business involves conducting in-person workshops. How has Covid-19 impacted your business?
Dyti: Because of Covid-19, we had to find ways to conduct our in-person workshops online. We used to host our instructor-led workshops in person but we found ways to change and replicate that content on a virtual platform. We also conducted a lot of industry research to see who has the best virtual business simulations and partnered with them to build our own programs.

Covid-19 has also caused a drop in engagement in a lot of employees and many companies were exploring solutions to help counter that. One of the ways that we helped was to use Gametize to create virtual team building activities, such as “Map the City”, which allowed people to “travel” around their city from the safety of their homes. These activities worked very well and played a part to keep employee morale up.
Gametize: We know that you have worked on many virtual programs using Gametize. Could you share one that you are particularly proud of?
Dyti : That would be a 45-day virtual onboarding journey (or the 45-day Pathfinder journey) for 48 associates that were joining a legal firm. This was the first time that the client was onboarding its interns in the virtual format, given the Covid-19 restrictions. A couple of the key objectives include introducing the associates to the firm, its inception and history, and enabling them to know each other and develop as a cohort.
Gametize: We’re curious about the content and storyline – could you tell us more about that?

Dyti : The Pathfinder journey had an engaging storyline which centered around travel. In fact, we went on to create locations that mimicked the client’s office locations and even incorporated images from those offices.

The virtual journey followed the growth of the Firm over the past century and it included some serious fun elements through a total of 73 challenges!

Gametize: How was the project received?
Dyti : The project was well received. The journey commenced a week before the associates were due to join the firm. In fact, on the day of joining, the Regional HRs commented on how prepared the associates were. As part of a team call, some of the newly joined associates were quizzed and the existing team members were also surprised about how well prepared they were. Quoting one of the associates who participated in the Pathfinder journey, “Thank you for putting in this effort and ensuring that our transition from university to work has been seamless.”.
Gametize: Back to content and storyline creation. It does sound like you put in a lot of effort and thought into making your projects a success. Where do you get your ideas from?
Dyti: I take inspiration from different experiences. For example, the design thinking game that we have created on Gametize allows players to manage a cafe business. For this game, I went to restaurants to understand how they operate and took some ideas and suggestions from my spouse who has relevant experience working with food delivery applications. My friends have also given me valuable feedback and suggestions when I was creating the game.

Travel has been a big inspiration for me. Since I love to travel, I thought a lot about my traveling experiences and how they can be implemented in my games. Whenever I think and build on these experiences, I relive the emotions I felt when I was there, and I try to translate these emotions into my games.

I also leveraged on the different experiences that my team members have, as each of us sees the world in different ways. For example, I have a team member who composes his own music and if I wanted a game to be built around music, I would show him the learning objectives and ask him for some ideas which I would use as inspiration to design my game.

Moving forward: continuing with virtual engagement programs

Gametize: Those are some great content creation tips for drawing inspirations from everyday life. Now, what’s next for FocusU Engage?
Dyti: FocusU has always been more focused on B2B (business-to-business), but we would like to now bring the learning directly to the learner, hence we created a new initiative called the FocusU Academy. So far, with FocusU Academy, we created different programs to teach individuals different skills such as design thinking and critical thinking. These programs are different as they are not your typical self e-learning courses and they are gamified and “storified”, making it more engaging and fun for the learners.
Gametize: We can’t wait to see what else you are working on. What else can we expect from you in the near future?
Dyti: Well, we are combining the principles of storytelling and gamification to drive some serious learning on design thinking.

Gametize: Are you able to show us a glimpse of that?

Here’s an introduction to our gamified course on design thinking:

Foundations of Design Thinking 

Tea & Trails, a quaint little café in the heart of an ambitious city. Once a busy place, but now struggling.

A bunch of interesting characters and twists and challenges that keep you hooked.

Is this a story or a lesson in Design Thinking? And who said that you can’t merge the two?

Explore this immersive and gamified learning experience with us and transform yourself into a Design Thinking Ninja.

About FocusU Engage

FocusU Engage is one of India’s foremost names in the field of Learning and Engagement. Since 2010, FocusU has been on a mission to transform corporate training in India. The inspiration behind FocusU is a line from Walt Disney that says “Laughter is no enemy to learning”.

Today, 600+ customers across India swear by the FocusU experience when it comes to workshops around Leadership, Innovation, Team Dynamics, Team Engagement and HR Solutions. With offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Mauritius, FocusU today has amongst the largest pool of Facilitators with International experience in the Experiential learning methodology. We run around 600 experiential workshops (physical and virtual) every year that touch the lives of 40000 people on an average.

To learn more about FocusU Engage, drop in at: