University of Oulu

Studying and designing the incorporation of gamification into a menstrual cycle tracking application in collaboration with a game company

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Author: Vuolukka, Joonas1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.3 MB)
Pages: 76
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : J. Vuolukka, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-06-15
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Arhippainen, Leena
Mattila, Juho
Reviewer: Arhippainen, Leena
Lappalainen, Jouni


This thesis focuses on two topics of study. The first part will cover a study focused on exploring the needs and expectations game development businesses have for university collaboration. As part of this it will be investigated what kind of experience and knowledge game development businesses look for in students. Secondly, the thesis will look into utilizing gamification as a way of improving menstrual cycle tracking applications. Materials for these studies have been gathered during a research internship at the INTERACT research unit. The research methods utilized comprise of a literature review and qualitative research. This study was motivated by the traineeship at INTERACT, and by participation in a gamification project through Ikune Ltd.

The first study consisted of reaching out to game development companies in Finland and conducting semi-structured interviews with them. The study had one respondent but nevertheless provided useful results. Students should have practical knowledge of programming languages, enthusiasm towards the company’s projects, and a portfolio showcasing their skills. Companies can benefit from collaboration by scouting the talent of students, networking with the university and students, and potentially utilizing student resources to prototype ideas.

The second study consisted of practical user interface prototype design, along with a user study investigating gamification and the participants perspective of the topic in menstrual cycle tracking applications. Participants were limited to two due to schedule constraints. This study still provided useful results, with many of them agreeing with earlier literature. As an interesting new finding, participants were not opposed to unusual experimental features when they seemed like medical tools or interventions. A list of important considerations for future application development was collated, with the ability to customize both the appearance and functionality of the application being among the most key findings.

The findings of the first study are useful to a multitude of groups, namely university students, companies considering university collaboration, persons interested in working in the game development industry, and possibly universities if they want to provide courses more directly related to game development. The study offers students relevant skills they should learn if they aim to work in the game development industry. Likewise, the study offers companies with what they could stand to gain from collaboration with universities and students. The second study is more contained, ultimately providing a list of application design considerations for gamified menstrual cycle tracking applications. These findings should be useful for future application developers and possibly for academia for the sake of future research into the topic.

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Copyright information: © Joonas Vuolukka, 2023. Except otherwise noted, the reuse of this document is authorised under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) licence ( This means that reuse is allowed provided appropriate credit is given and any changes are indicated. For any use or reproduction of elements that are not owned by the author(s), permission may need to be directly from the respective right holders.