I saw a really interesting Webinar last summer from Amy Yo Kim about Smart Gamification. It’s about taking the best of Gamification and enhancing the User Experience. Also see my blogs on Gameful Design and Life is a Game
Just recently I found a shorter presentation of the same content that she does on YouTube:
What is Gamification?
Gamification is the concept that you can apply the basic elements that make games fun and engaging to things that typically aren’t considered a game. In theory you can apply Game Design to almost anything including Education, Health, Work and more. See Gamification by Industry.
Gamification at it’s core is about fun, rewards and social connections. It has the opportunity to connect people in ways never seen before.
5 Keys to Smart Gamification
Amy talks about the 5 keys to drive user engagement
1. Know your users social style
There are 4 types och basic social style that you can divide the users in: Competitive, Cooperation, Explorer, Expression. Your users is just not one style but a combination of more than one. Get to know the user. Find out what type they are and how to design for them.
Think about the difference in games like Minecraft, Battlefield, Civilization, and World of Warcraft. What styles do they attract?
2. Design for their life-cycle stages
Design for users who are in different levels in their experience of the system. Don’t just offer one size fits all users. The beginner must get an immediate onboarding experience that feel engaging without being overwhelming.
3. Put PERMA in activity loops
You want to put more PERMA in the activities the user do so that they feel productive. What PERMA is have I discussed before in my post. In short:
P – Positive Emotions – We all like experiencing positive emotions like joy, peace, gratitude, satisfaction, trust, pride, pleasure, inspiration, hope, curiosity, or love. These emotions move us along when doing other elements of PERMA.
E – Engagement (or flow) – When a situation, task, or project are in the sweet-spot of our skill and the difficulty we often experience a state of flow. We lose track of time and becomes engulfed in the activity at hand.
R – Relationships – Being social with others is at the core of being human. When having good relationships with others is we are at our best. Co-operation and friendly competition brings out the best in us. Make the user interact with others in the system or have them sharing about content in the system outside it.
M – Meaning – Meaning comes from creating a purposeful narrative about our lives. A story where we are part in something bigger than our-self. We will often sacralize something in the group that brings meaning to us.
A – Accomplishments – We often seek Mastery in some form. And completing our goals and following our core values. Or we can just good feedback and rewards from an activity we are carrying out which also give great satisfaction. Enhance the progress the user is making by giving them great feedback.
You want to integrate thees into activity loop of the current user stages.
4. Light the way to mastery with progress mechanics
It is very important the users feel productive and that they are making progress in their activities.Make the users feel like they are Kicking-Ass.
5. Motivate users with intrinsic rewards
As soon as the basic motivations are taken care of most user will be more motivated by intrinsic rewards than by extrinsic. The 3 major intrinsic motivators are:
Autonomy -> Make the users feel like they are making meaningful and interesting choices.
Mastery -> If it feels like they are getting better they will stay engaged with the system.
Purpose -> If it feels like the time using the system is well spent, it usually is.
These are discussed more in my blog and in Danel Pinks book Drive.
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