Design Innovation

Free Innovation Canvas

Designing software that’s useful, delightful, and challenging is difficult enough, even more so for learning games and simulations intended to impact players beyond pure enjoyment. We discovered this the hard way working for Scholastic, Pearson Education and Second Avenue Learning.

In 2016 we adapted the open-source Business Model Canvas to create and publish Game Design Canvas. Game Design Canvas is our solution for quickly capturing a high-level snapshot on a one-page canvas rather than an opaque design document that is better at collecting dust than guiding a cross-functional team.

 It’s become widely used and served its purpose well.  Download the slide deck or PDF version of the Canvas now.

From Games to Innovation

Our new Innovation Toolkit is the next generation, and can be used to plan and design any kind of game, app, website or metaverse experiences… any creative endeavor with a serious intention — or not. 

This deck introduces the toolkit and leaves you with templates to customize and use as your own. 

This sounds good, how do I get a copy? Sign up here to get the download link and receive an email when new versions are available! We promise not to send spam, never share our subscriber lists, and you can always unsubscribe.

The approach could work for you, too.

What people are saying: One of our testers remarked, “My mind is a little bit blown by Game Design Canvas.” Another said, “If we’d had this tool before we developed our game the outcome would have been so much better.”


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Can I use this with other game design tools? Title Goes Here


Definitely! Whether you’re a fan of Jesse Schell’s game design “lenses,” Tracy Fullerton’s “playcentric” approach, Raph Koster’s “Theory of Fun” or others, the Game Design Canvas provides a lean, agile framework and process for quickly articulating your design thinking, regardless of how you got there.

Will the Design Canvas eliminate time and cost for detailed design documents?

Sadly, no. In most cases, you will still need to develop more comprehensive plans before full-scale development. What the Game Design Canvas will do, however, is give you a tool to quickly capture your design thinking, and it’s that one-page simplicity that makes it really useful for iterating and perfecting your game plan.

Is the Game Design Canvas only good for games?

Not at all! If you’re using game techniques and mechanics to onboard or reward visitors, or if there’s a core behavioral loop or action in an application that you want your users to learn, then this approach could work for you, too.

What’s so “lean, agile, and user-centered” about the Game Design Canvas?

It’s lean because it forces you to capture your game design in a few words. It’s agile because it’s fast to work with and focuses you on one piece of the game at a time. And it’s user-centered because you define the player upfront, the design matrix.

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