Kinect – and the HBDI

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Before Microsoft could develop “Kinect Adventures,” the game that ships with Kinect for Xbox 360, it had to get innovative with its design process. For that, Microsoft Game Studios and the Good Science Studio team turned to Herrmann International’s Whole Brain® Thinking approach to assemble the right team, generate the best ideas and develop a product that would appeal to everyone, not just the traditional gamer audience.

“Microsoft’s goal was to create the Kinect pack-in title with broad appeal and something for everyone,” says Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, CEO of Herrmann International. “And in that way, it’s fitting that ‘Kinect Adventures’ is the first time a Whole Brain® framework and Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument® (HBDI®) data has been applied to the product development process from start to finish.”

“Based on the research, we know that innovative design requires a Whole Brain® process and team,” Herrmann-Nehdi says. “We also know that we live in a Whole Brained world. So if you want to appeal to a broad audience, you have to first understand how different people think.”

Shannon Loftis, head of the Good Science Studio, brought in Herrmann International consultants to work with the team as soon as the project began. To ensure all thinking styles were represented as they staffed up to meet development needs, the team was structured based on the results of the 120-question HBDI® assessment, which evaluates and describes the degree of preference individuals have for thinking in each of the four brain quadrants, as depicted by the Herrmann Whole Brain® Model.

The Whole Brain® Model also served as a filter for evaluating every aspect of the game as it was being developed. During the consumer testing phase, the team used criteria based on the each of the thinking styles (analytical, organized, interpersonal and strategic) to make sure the activities and game elements would have broad appeal.

“Our research has shown that you can use clues to diagnose the thinking styles of potential customers and then identify product features and benefits that will appeal to different preferences,” Herrmann-Nehdi says. “The development of ‘Kinect Adventures’ is a great example because they took this approach and used it to produce something that really is for everyone.”

Microsoft Game Studios believes that from the way “Kinect Adventures” was designed to the features it showcases, the Whole Brain® Thinking approach helped them create entertainment for a Whole Brained consumer base, just as intended.

Herrmann International is the originator of Whole Brain® Technology and the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument® (HBDI®). Founded in 1981 on research into how thinking preferences can affect performance, the company develops Whole Brain® products and solutions that help organizations better understand and engage internal and external customers, get more from their collective intelligence, and achieve a significant competitive advantage.

With Whole Brain® Thinking and the HBDI® – the highly validated assessment tool used by nine out of 10 of the Fortune 100 – clients gain a proven, practical method of harnessing the brainpower of the entire organization to improve productivity, creativity, teamwork, sales and other business results. Clients include American Express, BMW, Cisco, GE, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Shell Oil, US Navy and Wharton School of Business. More information: http://www.hbdi.com. You can also find out more about it at our website