You might not believe it, but work can be fun. Just ask any application developer about how gamification is changing the industry.
Gamification is the process of utilizing game elements and game design techniques to enhance traditionally non-gaming concepts. It harnesses the power of games to entice customers or employees to begin or continue using your product.
Nick Pelling coined the term “gamification” in 2002, meaning “applying game-like accelerated user interface design to make electronic transactions both enjoyable and fast.” The idea is that the more an interface feels like a fun game, the more likely users are to embrace it. Foursquare’s anointing of “mayors” for people who check into particular locations the most is a form of gamification, as is the “upvoting” of user-submitted content on sites like Reddit.
The business strategy created through gamification brings together concepts from the video game industry, social media, and human psychology. With the help of this new business concept, applications and various processes can be designed to enhance user engagement, business quality, return on investment (ROI), and time management.
Why Use Gamification?
How gamification can be applied to a marketing strategy or internal productivity push can vary depending on the sector and the business type. You cannot turn everything into the same type of game, nor does the same approach satisfy all business ventures. It is a process where the best lessons from the gaming arena can be chosen and applied based on the specific business situation.
Even more than game themes or ideas, the game mechanics play a vital role. Game mechanics are the specific rules and actions that define how a particular game works. When the game mechanics align naturally with both the game maker’s objectives and the users’ natural way of interacting with the application, the gamification model can work wonders.
A Gallup poll in 2011 found that nearly 71% of American employees did not fully engage in their office work. With the help of gamification, a well-designed application can promote real work objectives, increase employee productivity, and even boost consumer engagement. Giving employees points or badges for working within an application gives them a fun accomplishment to strive toward. Putting your brand in front of customers in the form of an enjoyable game forms a positive association for them.
Taste Success with Gamification
One of the inspiring success stories on gamification comes from Risk Management Services, where they tried an innovative trading card game as an internal re-branding method, which turned out to be a smash hit. “This contest was fun and different from anything we have ever done,” Vice President of Talent Acquisition and Employee Engagement Amelia Merrill told the International Association of Business Communicators.
Health insurance company Aetna also saw success with gamification, working with Mindbloom to create the Life Game, an online social game designed specifically for personal wellness. The players can grow a virtual tree to manage personal goals like health, relationships, finances, and more. Filled with various activities the game motivates the players to earn virtual rewards, which in turn make an advancement in their real lives.
The concept can be applied to any sector: software, health, education, quality & analysis, finance, and more. Think about how your objectives could appeal to users through a gamified interface and build your application ideas upon that. To speak with our experts about your idea, call (603) 881-9200 or email us!