How to Make Your Gamified Applications addictive

By December 10, 2012 Gamification No Comments

How to Make Your Gamified Applications addictive

If you want people to actually use your gamified applications they need to be as addictive as any game on the market today-such as Words with Friends, Angry Birds or the many Facebook games out there that people spend hours playing.

Gamification basically means applying various techniques that game designers use to engage and/or motivate employees, users or customers to use your gamified application and in turn your service or product.  Gamification is a “new” marketing tool with profound effects.

Gabe Zichermann is one of many who outspokenly believe that gamification is real, and really important. He describes it as the culmination of a number of trends in gaming, the theory of “serious games,” and social application design.

Ultimately, Gamification uses the science of how to manipulate people, just like any other marketing technique, there is psychology behind it. For instance, Foursquare flourished because part of it is a sort of game where people compete to check in by location and receive badges or recognition for doing so.

Many businesses have productively applied gamified techniques such as Google (reducing travel expenses) or Target who effectively uses gamification to improve on their cashier’s performance.

Although the psychology behind gamification is important to the overall design, we cannot forget about the technology part of the gamified process.  Gamified applications are increasingly simple to deliver due largely to the availability of technologies like the Facebook and other social networks.  The neat thing too is that application designers can build on already existing gamification platforms like Bunchball, Big Door, and Badgeville.

Using gamification doesn’t essentially mean creating fancy graphics, sound effects, or handing out a ton of badges. However, it can mean keeping score and allowing your users to see their status on a leader board.  

In terms of employee engagement that might mean setting up a leader board for your employees and allowing them to see how close they are to achieving a set goal or securing that bonus; it’s a great way to get a little friendly competition going in the office and increase productivity all at the same time.

The key to creating that element of addiction in your gamified system is to provide random, unpredictable fortification on hitting the jackpot for your users.  Most of us have been to a casino or two in our lives and we all know that the small chance of hitting it big is what keeps us playing the game.  Using this concept in your gamified applications will keep your users engaged, whether it’s your employees or your customers.