How Gamification Transforms the User Experience
The element of “play” is already a part of our daily lives – just think of air miles, supermarket loyalty points, or scratch cards. It engages clients, and keeps them focused on getting more value. But can a digital gaming experience actually help you improve your bottom line?
What is gamification?
In its simplest form, gamification is based on motivating people through rewards. It could be rewarding your clients for their engagement with your brand, or rewarding your staff for how well they’re doing their jobs. The trend of commercial gamification is all about sharing value with those who create value for you.
Internal productivity boost
A typical scenario for adopting this approach is an organisation that wants to improve team productivity. To do this, many choose to reward staff using a virtual scoreboard where users receive badges or points based on how fast or how well they resolve issues. Sometimes the rewards can be translated into actual real-life prizes.
The power of reward
One great case study of how gamification can improve delivery speed and quality is the SiteStream initiative, created by website-building platform DevHub. They recognised problems with enabling new users, output quality issues, and decreasing user activity over time. To address this, they introduced a dynamic checklist to guide users through the process of creating good, quality websites – and rewarding them along the way. By following the steps outlined, the user would score points while learning to craft great websites. This encouraged friendly competition, where high scorers would also win extra development tools to improve their projects further.
How to start improving your business with gaming
Curious about adopting an element of gaming into your business?
We have listed the key steps you need to consider before adopting a gamification strategy.
- Be clear on business objectives
One of the most essential aspects of business is customer engagement. This is why the gaming element has become popular, because it can engage users in new, exciting ways. However, it’s critical to consider what it is you want your strategy to achieve. Do you want to drive productivity? Product adoption? Referrals? Customer loyalty? By having a clear view of what your ideal outcome is, you can start designing your project.
- Define the user
You also need to be very clear about who the user, or player, is. Are there different types of users? How do they access the platform? Are they likely to adopt the approach quickly? Do they need separate user journeys?
In order to create a successful programme, you really need to identify users, how they operate, and what is important to them.
- Analyse user motivation
If you understand what motivates your users, you will know how to reward them. Do they want peer recognition? Learn new skills? Win prizes? Career progression? If you get this part right, you will be able to match up the right rewards with the desired behaviour, and inspire users to do what you want.
- Create the right activities
Although you could in theory gamify plenty of activities, the ones you choose need to be meaningful for the user. There should be an element of entertainment, to engage the user to continue on their gaming journey. There should always be a drive towards hitting the next target, and the next.
- Create the right structure
An ideal structure for a gamified experience is built on dynamic, responsive algorithms that help drive the desired behaviours. By creating a system that will adapt to the user’s unique activities, you will continue to engage them in a personalised way.
- Create the right rewards
The gaming experience should not only be well mapped out, it should be packed with rewards for the user. Make it clear to the user where they are on their reward journey. How far are they from the next prize, the next level, the next milestone? Define how you want to process the actual rewards. Will you be giving out badges, points or other prize units?
No matter whom we are selling our goods and services to – or collaborating with – we want them to enjoy the experience so much that they will come back for more. Having a good system for engagement in place can be just the tool you need to stand out from the crowd and give you a competitive edge.