ParKing – A gamified crowdsourcing approach to simplify parking

(The project was conducted by Dr. Benedikt Morschheuser outside FAU)

Finding a parking spot in large cities is often time-consuming and stressful. Studies conducted in different cities around the globe revealed that around 30% of prevailing traffic is cruising for parking (Shoup, 2005, 2006). The traffic generated by people searching for a parking spot has great economic and ecological consequences: Searching for parking is responsible for tons of carbon dioxide emissions every day and heavily influences the time and fuel consumption of other drivers (Arnott et al., 2005; Axhausen et al., 1994; Shoup, 2005, 2006).


ParKing App - gamified crowdsourcing to simplify parking
ParKing App – A gamified crowdsourcing approach to simplify on-street parking


The idea behind the project ParKing was that a “Gamified Parking Assistant System” may help drivers unfamiliar with the parking situation of a city, such as tourists or business travellers, with getting an overview and reducing their cruising for parking. As part of the project, gamification patterns for engaging people in sharing information on parking spaces has been identified, evaluated and a working prototype of a gamified parking assistant was developed. A three-month field experiment across Germany with 372 people showed that the concept worked out and a comprehensive map of on-street parking spaces could be generated.

Results concerning the effects of different gamification design features on motivation and participation received international attention in the gamification research community and were published in the article:

Morschheuser, B., Hamari, J., & Maedche, A. (2019). Cooperation or competition – When do people contribute more? A field experiment on gamification of crowdsourcing. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 127, 7−224. doi: 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2018.10.001

Please see the paper for full details:
Article in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies
Free pre-print on ResearchGate


Furthermore, several news media reported about this project, including the national radio channel Deutschlandfunk as well as the newspapers Badische Neueste Nachrichten (BNN) and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).


Results ParKing Experiment
Results of the ParKing experiment


The website provides a detailed overview about the study conducted and the prototype developed with students from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the University of Mannheim. The website summarizes bothproject vision and conducted research.


Experimental conditions ParKing App
Comparison between the effects of cooperative, competitive, and inter-team competitive gamification features.


Based on the results of this study, Robert Bosch GmbH developed the app “Parkineers”, which has been released as iOS and Android app in Germany.



Arnott, R., Rave, T., & Schöb, R. (2005). Alleviating urban traffic congestion. MIT Press.

Axhausen, K. W., Polak, J. W., Boltze, M., & Puzicha, J. (1994). Effectiveness of the parking guidance system in Frankfurt am Main. Traffic Eng. Control 35, 304–309.

Shoup, D.C., 2006. Cruising for parking. Transp. Policy 13, 479–486. doi:10.1016/j.tranpol.2006.05.005

Shoup, D.C., 2005. The high cost of free parking. Planners Press, Chicago.

Morschheuser, B., Hamari, J., & Maedche, A. (2019). Cooperation or competition – When do people contribute more? A field experiment on gamification of crowdsourcing. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 127, 7−224. doi: 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2018.10.001


Research projects

PRIME – Privacy in the Metaverse

“PRIME – Privatheit im Metaversum” Collage basierend auf Adobe Stock Bildern von Ilya, Tetiana und pickup.

The metaverse is seen as a potential successor of today’s internet. While tech companies are emphasizing the enormous economic potential of the metaverse, it also poses new threats to the privacy of potential users.

In this context, the research project “PRIMEPrivacy in the Metaverse” aims to gather knowledge in the current early phase of the development of metaverse platforms in order to enable citizens to engage in an informed discourse about the opportunities and risks of using metaverse platforms for their privacy, self-determination and data protection. The project also aims to develop new methods and design principles to support content creators and service providers on metaverse platforms in protecting the users’ privacy.

The joint project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for 36 months, is being carried out by our research group at FAU in close cooperation with Prof. Dr. Christian Thorun of ConPolicy GmbH in Berlin, Prof. Dr. Louisa Specht-Riemenschneider of the University of Bonn, Prof. Dr. Gerald Spindler of the University of Göttingen. In detail, the project pursues the following focal points:

  • Design and evaluation of user interfaces and design principles that enable users of metaverse platforms to effectively exercise their right to privacy and, among other things, adequately support their informed consent, and protect themselves from harassment and assault.
  • Development and testing of metrics to evaluate the design of virtual content on metaverse platforms for its impact on user privacy in order to mitigate dark patterns and deceptive designs in the metaverse.
  • Research and testing of innovative design and development processes to gather the user opinions on metaverse content with respect to the aforementioned user interfaces and metrics, both using classical methods of usability research as well as methods used in the metaverse itself.

The research project builds on broad public relations and cooperation with regional partners, such as the open innovation lab JOSEPHS in Nuremberg, the XR Hub Bavaria, Games in Bavaria, or Journee Technologies GmbH.

Funding reference: 16KIS1895

Duration: July 1, 2023 – June 31, 2026

Further information:

Team: Jeanine Kirchner-Krath, Runjie Xie


Discovering Gaming and Gameful Content Creation in Mobility

In cooperation with CARIAD, we are exploring in-car gaming and the art of creating gameful content within the automotive industry. It’s a unique blend of cutting-edge research and real-world application that promises to redefine how we experience cars. Based on our gamification and gaming expertise and the technological prowess of the CARIAD, we’re diving deep into the world of in-car gaming. We’re not just playing games; we’re shaping the future of mobility and entertainment. Our goal is to bring the excitement of gaming into mobility, creating immersive experiences that blend seamlessly with your daily commute. Imagine driving becoming more than just a chore – it becomes an adventure, a challenge, and a source of fun.

Project objectives:

  • Design and development of gameful content creation solutions
  • Explore factors influencing the in-car gaming experience
  • Derivation of design principles

Team: Johanna Eiting, Jonathan Stief

Learn2Focus with Information Systems: Exploring the Potential of Motivational Information Systems against Procrastination in Academic Contexts

Procrastination – the deliberate postponement of necessary or important tasks knowing that this will have negative consequences in the future – is a widespread phenomenon in the academic context, affecting up to 50-70% of all students and researchers. In addition to obvious effects on academic performance, procrastination is also associated with serious consequences for mental health of those affected. The research project “Learn2Focus with Information Systems” aims to investigate the potential of motivational information systems as a novel and accessible intervention to support self-organized work in academic contexts.

Project objectives:

  • Investigating the effects of motivational information systems to combat procrastination among students
  • Deriving design recommendations for the design of motivational information systems against procrastination in the academic context

The project is funded by FAU’s scholarship program for the “Realization of Equal Opportunities for Women in Research and Teaching” (FFL).

Duration: September 1, 2023 – August 31, 2024

Team: Jeanine Kirchner-Krath

adidas Logo

Design and evaluation of gamification solutions to improve football training

In cooperation with adidas, we want to improve training and performance diagnostics in football through innovative gamification approaches. For this, we explore the impact of different gamification features using an existing adidas platform and wearable devices.

Project objectives:

  • Design and development of different gamification features
  • Evaluation of developed gamification features with regard to sociopsychological dynamics in the team and effects on the behavior of the football players
  • Derive design recommendations and principles for gamification in team sports based on the results of field experiments

Team: Sandra Birnstiel

Sonderfonds FAU

FontanQuest: A study on the potential of game-based training programs for children with Fontan circulation

In collaboration with the University Hospital Erlangen, we are investigating the psychological and behavioural outcomes of using game-based high-intensity interval training programs in children with Fontan circulation. The project is supported by the “Sonderfonds für wissenschaftliche Arbeiten an der FAU” by the city of Nuremberg and conducted together with PD Dr. Dr. med. Isabelle Schöffl from the pediatric cardiology department at the University Hospital Erlangen.

Completed projects

More details on our previous research will follow soon. In the meantime, please see our publications.