The ABCs of GamificationGamification applies game elements, game mechanics and game thinking into non-game processes, like apps or websites, in an effort to make them more fun and engaging. However, it’s important to point out that gamification does not equal gaming or creating games for businesses. It simply borrows game features. According to Statista calculations, the gamification market is expected to grow from the $4.91bn it was valued in 2016 to almost $12bn by 2021. The impressive gamification statistics doesn’t end at that. 40% of top organizations in the world are using gamification as their primary mechanism to transform business operations. The faith in this business tool is so big that some experts believe that by 2020 gamification will be widespread. The main components that game mechanics are based on are the following:
- Motivation — The reason users have to care, act or behave in a certain way;
- Mastery — A set of rules, skills and knowledge users need to have to complete the task;
- Triggers — The implementation of opportunities for users to fulfill their motivation.
How to Make Gamification WorkGamification rises quite high expectations. It’s believed to be a great tool to motivate users to change their behavior, develop skills and habits and solve problems. Businesses apply it to increase customer engagement, improve employee performance, to help with training, education and onboarding, personal development, innovation management, and the list goes on. Businesses that used gamification drive more website traffic and lower time for conversions and onboarding. Even potential employees are gamification proponents. According to a study, 55% of Americans are interested in working for a company that uses gamification as a tool to increase productivity. Can gamification really be the answer business has been looking for? Well, you never know until you try. But the important thing is to set the right expectations and use business gamification the right way:
It’s All About Correctly Designed ExperiencesWe know that poor UX design is the death of any product. So happens to be the case with gamification elements. If poorly designed, and that includes setting the right business objectives, the whole project will collapse. Have Clear Business Goals Don’t incorporate gamification just because it’s a trend. They’re has to be a clear business objective behind this decision. After business goals are set you have to perform a deep analysis to see if gamification is really the best tool to achieve them. Create a Meaningful Motivation Simply giving away badges, points or creating leaderboards is not enough. To truly engage for users, you need to offer them rewards that have some meaning and can be a real motivator to proceed with the desired action. When Business Objectives Meet User Objectives Don’t design gamification elements with purely your business goals in mind, failing to think that your efforts should be client-centered and with their desires and objectives in mind is the biggest misconception businesses have when opting for gamification.
Gamification AppsWhat better way to understand how to apply gamification and whether it can really be a game changer for your business than through the success stories of others? Here are some of the most fruitful cases of applying gamification in business apps.
Magnum Pleasure HuntAn AR app that gamifies its interaction with customers. As a result, a game where users can complete puzzles and collect Magnum ice cream bars has gathered more than 20 million plays and created a significant marketing buzz.
eBayOne of the eCommerce leaders has been gamifying shopping experience of its customers for years. eBay uses a bidding system, mutual buyer seller feedback interface, leveling up, and achievements to make online shopping a lot more fun.
DuolingoA learning gamification app with around 60 million users. Duolingo has its own currency, badges, challenges, and achievements and the whole experience looks more like a game than learning.
Starbucks AppAfter adding gamification features to their app, Starbucks has managed to achieve shocking results — they’ve amassed 120 million users. The update included such fun features like using AR technology to play with your cup, sending a Valentine card and added some rewards like free downloads, product giveaways etc.
Nike+The app uses rewards, trophies, and surprise gifts to help the users achieve their running goals — the more you run, the more rewards you get. By introducing an element of competition, the app allows its user to track and challenge their friends.
Foursquare & SwarmBy using gamification the app managed to grow their users base to 50 million users. The main game components they are using are check-ins and location sharing. They also motivate users by giving out points, badges, and mayorships to the most active ones.
ConclusionGamification offers wonders to business. It is deemed to able to solve many of its pressing issues: engage and retain customers, help with employee training and onboarding, attract more visitors to your website and convert them into your customers with a higher success rate. It’s important to remember that gamification isn’t a solution to every business problem, but if designed correctly, it can assist in achieving certain goals. The most important thing to remember is that it should be aligned not only with the business problems but customer problems, their goals and wishes as well.
Elena Storozhkova is a content marketer by day, bookworm by life. All things digital, experience design, and corgis are my passions.
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