Six Steps to Gamification – Are You Game?


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Gamification uses game mechanics and design to tap into a user’s natural desires for competition, achievement, recognition and self-expression to engage users, solve problems and drive behavior. In a business environment, it can integrate game dynamics into a website, business service, online community, content portal or marketing campaign to initiate participation and promote engagement.

Imagine the motivation and pride of an employee when they see their names featured at the top of a virtual leadership board. Even other benefits like discounts for certain products being sold, or airline miles and credit card points are key drivers in building employee engagement.

In the past year, it has been increasingly used in software companies to measure, analyze and influence people’s behavior. As more companies jump onto the gamification bandwagon, the widespread trend will continue to grow. Major companies, especially IT giants, are partaking in it and coming up with cost-effective and efficient gamification systems. However, a lot can go terribly wrong.

Implementing gamification in the corporate scenario, its composition, and how to leverage it as a useful engagement tool for customers and employees.
Gamification revolves around a reward structure for the overall performance of the task.Gamification platforms focus on badges, leaderboards, achievements, and points (BLAP gamification) for people engagement.

• Badgesto symbolize individual performance capabilities that can be permanently attached to a player’s profile
It can also display individuals’ competency level, similar to the badge-system in the armed forces. Players within gamification can also earn badges which are visible to the whole organization and peer groups.

• Leaderboards for recognition within the project team, peer group and/or senior management
Accumulating points and badges on a leader board allows individuals to advance through the ranks. Create a public scoreboard where employees can see instant performance results on an individual and team level. This can nurture healthy workplace competition.

• Achievements,which are virtual or physical representation of an accomplishment
Players get an opportunity to brag about what they’ve done indirectly as well as add challenges and characters to a game. Achievements are often locked until you have met the series of tasks that are required to unlock the achievement and move to the next gaming level.

• Points to motivate people and be considered carefully because points are very limited, uniform and abstract
Points can however be a great way to challenge users by scores or reward the users by giving feedback of progression.

BLAP can be a great starting point, but are limited. So take a deeper look at what makes games work.

Meaningful gamification is about using game elements to help participants find a deeper meaning in a real-world setting. It uses strategic reflection, exposition, choice, information, play and engagement as a recipe for success.

• Reflection creates opportunities for players to step back and think about their game-based experiences. It creates the situation where a learner can connect the events in the game to elements in his own life.

• Exposition creates stories for participants that are integrated with the real-world setting and allows them to create their own.It presents a narrative layer through game design elements. There are two key parts of exposition: the development of a meaningful narrative element and the presentation of that narrative element to the player.

• Choice develops systems that put the power in the hand of the participants. The player is presented with choices about how to engage with the real-world setting and how the winner is measured.

• Informationuses game design and game display concepts to educate participants about the real-world context. People have a more positive outlook when they feel they are gaining mastery in a topic area. As they learn more about the real-world setting and the effect of their actions, they can reach the mastery desired through self-determination.

• Play facilitates freedom to explore and fail within boundaries.When playing, a player will often create a new constraint under which to play; in fact, much fun can be found by adding constraints to something in life.

• Engagement and encouraging participants to discover and learn from others interested in the real world setting can help implement the difficulty of the challenges. Increased challenges and more difficulties push the player to test his boundaries too and increase player engagement.

Satyajit Roy
A multi-faceted UX Consultant with a successful track record of improving user experience, design efficiency, and monetization, across a breadth of large-scale B2B, B2C, and Enterprise applications. Over 11+ yrs of hands-on experience with all stages of user experience and product innovation, from customer research and requirements gathering, interaction design and visual design to prototyping, production and usability testing.


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