Lessons from Gamification

September 17, 2012

Tim Tryzbiak from ootii wants to dispel some myths about gamification and provide some useful building blocks for building your own gamification. Turns out, gamification isn’t all that new. Greenstamps, McDonald’s Monopoly game and even just chores and rewards at home all use the same principles.

First a few myths: You don’t have to build a game, it’s not just about ‘points,’ and not all badges matter. When you spam someone with badges and notifications you quickly risk blindness from the consumer. Additionally, you don’t want to hit the consumer over the head with your goal, instead set up goals they want to achieve and work your goals in on the side.

Instead there are three guidelines for gamification: 1) understanding your player (behavioral psychology helps here), 2) What’s the goal? And, 3) How do you keep them engaged?

Tryzbiak takes us back to Richard Bartle’s Player types (based on his experience developing muds (aside: I was a big Mudder in college… Let’s just say they’re addictive)). Killers, Achievers, Socializers, Explorers and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Knowing where they come from and what motivates them helps understand how your game should be designed. It gets even more psychological based as you learn more.

When building your point rewards system, you give fewer points for lower actions (like the page) more points for your goals (learn about the product). Also, you can use your learning points as tools to drive actions customers want to take.

Mechanic Rundown
- Use Collections that have meaning
- Feedback (give them feedback that they’re on the right path)
- Set up Challenges (leader boards, scavenger hunt, trivia, promotions) that lets users use them for rewards
- Exchanges (gifting, ecards, trading, social notifications)
- Customizations (Avatars, Profiles, UI Changes), let someone customize and share something, there is a sense of ownership.

Final thoughts. Understand the player, have clear goals create mechanics that reinforce the goals, ensure mechanics are meaningful and in context, measure everything.

There’s obviously a lot more to gamification than the above. But I felt this was a great orientation to the subject.

Tags: , , ,

Receive Updates via Email

* indicates required

Follow me on Twitter