Three Kinds of Gamification
Employee and Consumer Engagement may be a lot of things but the end result is trying to get your numbers to increase, whether that is visitor frequency, duration or sales the key is to choose one of these and focus on that. It may be tempting to want it all but choosing one goal and sticking to that will save you a lot of complication. Think simple-when you are gamifying anything what you want is people to look at what you have created and use it.
One of the easiest things to do especially in gamification is over-complicate. When it comes to your gamification idea try explaining it in ONE sentence; if you can do that you have a simple idea that will essentially be as effective as you want it to be.
Anything above and beyond that one sentence shows that you have fallen into the temptation of complication and you can spend years and a lot of money going down that road only to have it fail you because it is overly complicated and simply won’t work.
For example Reddit is gamified by Users collecting karma by posting content, which other users vote on and sometimes they unlock trophy badges. We all know the only written rule of Pong is to avoid missing that ball for the highest score. You have to learn to keep things simple.
Knowing that your consumers are not naive will help you create more engagement. Forget about the levels, achievements, badges, etc. and focus on the point. If your users can’t see a point behind all the levels, badges and awards the majority of them will not stick around; these are the three kinds of gamification that you need to know:
1. Validation- Your consumers and users want to be validated; Up-votes, likes, re-tweets, etc. are numbers which tell a user that he or she is popular and they are produced by the quality of what that user has created and posted and then awarded by other users with in that community.
It doesn’t matter what the contribution is, the gamified element is the symbol that says “We Like You” to the user. Validation is one of the strongest elements of quality engagement but it does require that the content or service is taken outside of your control. Learn to be comfortable with that and you can use the validation factor to build a community around your product or service.
2. Completion- A good example of this would be the progress bar on LinkedIn. It tells you that your profile is currently 75 percent complete, and then guides you through the site getting you to complete the necessary steps in order to help you obtain that 100 percent completion.
3. Prizes- If you decide to give prizes you have to go all in; meaning if your service becomes about prizes then it is ONLY about prizes. If at some point you decide to take away the prizes you will only receive a decline in your engagement and disapproving responses from your users and consumers. Air miles, lotteries, health apps, etc. are appealing because they offer a prize or benefits like upgrades, winning money or losing that last 10 pounds.
These prizes are clear and well-liked because they are familiar and we all know someone who has gained from them. However, they all involve a type of action and although this can be a wonderful thing for consumer engagement it can also be tougher to maintain long-term interest.
The bottom line is Keep It Simple and you will succeed with your gamification idea; it’s all about a principal action leading to a principal outcome, that’s it!