Monkey Bar

A learning game for operation management

Task: UX Research & Design; Rapid Prototyping
Role: Product Designer


Design a digital product at low cost that provides a personalized learning experience in operation management for college-age students.


Monkey Bar, a simulation that contextualizes abstract statistical models and business theories through real-life problems. Introduces the overall operation concept for learners even with a minimal understanding of statistics.


Queuing Theory and Waiting-line models is one of the hardest chapter for business school students, as it is built on key statistical concepts, such as means, standard deviation and possibility. The target audience are mainly undergrad and graduate student taking operation foundation classes in business school, as well as people who are interested in having a holistic understanding of common operation system. How might we help students, especially someone with weaker mathematical thinking, to master the theory and model more effectively?


Monkey Bar Incorporates features including narratives, incentive system, and aesthetic design to enhance the affect, motivation and cognition aspects of learners. It provides hands on manipulation of variables to help learners build a holistic concept map for all the variables, as well as connection between the real world and the abstract model. As this simulation represents a fairly complex model with 4 inputs and 4 outputs, I chose a browser-based environment, with 2D visuals to minimize user’s extraneous cognitive load. I also use icons instead of texts, aiming to further simplify the display.



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