Problem with Gamification? You Just Need to be SMARTER!

Do it the SMARTER way

There are many gamification theories and systems out there, such as the 5 Elements for Engagement, the 7 Deadly Sins of Gamification, and my personal favorite, Gamification is Bullshit via Ian Bogost. However, even when we have so many theories and experts to pull knowledge from, it’s still hard and confusing to actually gamify something ourselves. It’s tricky to see if those gaming elements are valuable, or if they’re working! And what can you do to make sure you’re using the right theories and strategy? No worry, here’s an easier way to remember the core value of gamification: all you need to do is to become SMARTER!

is for Specific & Simple: Learn about gamings Four Types of Player and our own Gamification Psychology to understand who your users/customers/gamification-ees are. Gamify your business based on the needs and values of your customers, and make sure your design is following the rules of “Simple in the front, complex in the back” and “Easy to learn, hard to master”.  

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is for Meaningful: “To Gamify or not to Gamify, that is the question”, but first, consider this: ‘Should You Gamify Your Business’ ? Many businesses add mini games and badges for no reason, and those are simply annoying. Make sure your gamification is meaningful to your business, and see if there is actually a positive effect before continuing.

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is for Achievable: You need to also make sure the tasks, quests, missions, and challenges you’re giving your players/customers are doable, or within the range of their ability. If it’s too easy- no one cares, and if it’s too hard – no one will play.

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is for Relatable: Your awards, challenges, tasks, and all other elements need to relate to your customers’ personal goals and values. Make them care. Stay away from shallow experiences. As a company, consider if the gamified product/website is relevant to your brand first, and how adding the gamified elements will effect your brand second.

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is for Track-able: Show your customers that your gamified product isn’t wasting their time (even if it is) by allowing them to track it. Show progression bars, levels, and collections of badges to allow your customers to track their activities. Also, as they now see how much time they already spend with you, they will be more likely to commit, and come back for more.

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is for Engaging: Engage your customers: use storytelling to build a fantasy world around your product, like Coke’s Dream Factory. Gamifying your product is just one way to get people’s attention, but the hardest part is to get them hooked. Telling a good story is so important for making people curious about a brand and want to share it with friends.. .

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is for Rewarding: Why do we reward our customers? Because reward brings satisfaction, encouragement and motivation! Reward often, and reward everything! When rewarding your customers, make sure it Relates to their personal values. Your reward means nothing if it doesn’t connect with them. .

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Useful? Useless? either way we want to hear from YOU!

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