Gamification is a means for eliciting specific behaviors from your users by depending on the premise that humans are naturally competitive. Some more than others, but competition is the basis for our economy and drives many of our behaviors whether we admit it or not.
The concept of gamification involves integrating game elements into non-game experiences to intrinsically motivate engagement and loyalty through users’ desire for achievement and reward. The goal is to make everyday tasks less mundane by keeping them actively interested in completing tasks.
In this episode, Sean and Joe discuss gamification as an important part of the system design process, and then have a great conversation with Gregg Gordon from SSRN.com about how they use gamification within the SSRN.com environment to both foster friendly competition and encourage users to increase their usage of the system by making it a pleasure to use.
It’s important to remember that gamification involves far more than just implementing generic game elements, such as badges, points, and leaderboards to the experience of a product.
Gamification begs the overarching question, “what will motivate people to want to use this product?”
Thoughtfully engineering engagement loops is one of our most powerful tools in crafting an experience that is worthy of earning system advocates in your ecosystem. The processes of gamification will have a tremendous impact on engagement and autonomy in the long run.
Recognition of achievements through progress indication or badges can be impactful if thought through thoroughly. While engineering your engagement loops, it is important to consider the different user types and various stages of the relationship, as the loops will change over time.
In order to accurately identify what game-like elements you should integrate into a product, you must gain a deep understanding of the specific people who will be using a given product and what motivates them. The gamification must be tailored to the users.
Gamification can be incorporated to make experiences fun and relatable to the user. It can be used to identify when your user is frustrated or bored, and then use intelligent triggers to pull them back in. It can adapt to their learning style in real time and allow them to learn on their own, personal terms.
We can use these gamification mechanics to support existing processes or to create entirely new interaction models. They can be just as effective at improving motivation and engagement for groups of a few people as they are for groups of hundreds. Gamification can provide opportunities to trigger our most passionate fans and inspired consumers into brand advocates. It can give them a way to help us build our community, and to make it even more valuable for everyone in the ecosystem.
Sometimes people simply need a little nudge to inspire behaviors, and gamification can provide that nudge consistently, pervasively, and ubiquitously. Thus, investing in gamification techniques can help you nudge your users in many ways.
To gain a more in-depth understanding of how to implement the elements of gamification that will inspire your users to achieve, check out the Product Momentum Podcast Episode 3: Gamification and Quality User Experience.
Sean Flaherty (2016, February 11). Customer Loyalty is Not a Transaction.
Sean Flaherty (2017, February 22). Free Your Users.
Sean Flaherty (2016, April 22). How Tuned In To Your Customers Are You?