5 common questions about gamification

Should all businesses apply gamification?

We think all organizations would do well to "think more gamified" to a certain extent.

All businesses can't and shouldn't use gamification the same way. But considering that all gamification means is an effort to make something (a product or an activity) more effective or enjoyable, there is always a need for that somewhere.

The areas we think could benefit the most from incorporating gameful design are education, leadership & teamwork, app development and marketing.

What are the most common reasons for gamifying something?

The common denominators are engagement and behavioral change.

You have users, customers or employees who's behavior you want to influence, or for whom you want to create a great experience. It could be anything, really. 

There is of course an ulterior motive for this behavior, such as better profitability or brand visibility. But these goals are reached via win-win solutions. The more you invest in something valuable, useful and fun for your users, the more you'll get back.

If I want to implement gamification - where do I begin?

First and foremost, what you need to ask yourself is: "What are my overall business goals?" 

Are they to attract more users to an app or website? Create a better team spirit at the workplace? Get more valuable feedback from customers? 

The goal should never be to gamify for gamification's sake, to keep up with trends, or because it's a nice thing to try. Gamification is a strategical way to reach business goals, so start from there.  

Question number two: "Who is my intended audience, and what do they need and want?"

What does your ideal user's everyday life look like? What challenges are they struggling with? What are their goals, personally and proffessionaly? 

If you want to succeed with gamification, you have to know your audience really well, and tailor your products, systems or activities to them.

When you've answered these two questions well, you are ready to take the next steps in brainstorming what your gamified user experience is going to look like. This is where Playify comes in handy!

What pitfalls should I avoid?

The most common weakness we see: No challenge. Or a challenge that is insufficient or not interesting enough. 

This is something traditional game developers know: Give the player something exciting and challenging to master, and they are likely to stay hooked until they have done so. 

Meanwhile, gamified experiences might have plenty of rewards and fun features, but no real reason for the user to go after these rewards. There is a lack of understanding of game psychology and how the many mechanics work together to keep us engaged. 

Another common pitfall is rewarding the user the wrong way.

It might be building a platform for employees to collaborate and contribute their ideas, but failing to put functions in there that enable and properly encourage this behavior. The company might not showcase these ideas to give the employees credit. Instead they might hand out gift cards or something else entirely non-related to the challenge.

How we are rewarded for our effort greatly impacts the way we feel about the activity. For example: plenty of scientific studies show how monetary compensation can really kill creativity. 

So, knowledge about positive psychology and game psychology is crucial in avoiding this pitfall.

And what is the best possible outcome?

If you should hit a real home run with your gamified experience, where your business needs are perfectly lined up with the needs and wants of your audience: your are likely to see a return on investment in several areas. 

For a B2C business they might be increased website traffic, more sales, more active and satisfied customers and more media exposure. 

When implementing gamification on a corporate level, some results might be happier and more productive employees, better team spirit and collaboration and a higher quality of work within the business.

Want to learn more about how gamification influences behavior? Try out Playify!

It will guide you through a 4-step-process of coming up with gamified experiences that contain all the crucial elements of success.