UXAustralia 2011: Gamification sucks


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Gamification is hot buzzword at the moment; pity it sucks, eh?

Game mechanics and game design techniques have been a much proliferated meme in the UX, IxD, and design worlds as of late (for varying definitions of ‘late’). Touted as a ‘solution’ to the challenge of motivating certain behaviour in users, or making experiences more engaging, sadly these elements of the game development world are often blindly applied without finesse or elegance – akin to to hitting the user over the head with a colourful hammer.

I’ve given countless talks on gamification products, adding game mechanics to services, and motivating and engaging users through glorious interrelated feedback systems. All of it, well — most of it — was wrong.

Game design techniques aren’t applicable to every interaction design situation, but when they are they can make the experience that much more compelling, sticky and entertaining. The situations where they are truly, deeply applicable are few and far between. This session will help you spot those situations.

Using examples from the last half a decade of building gamified and non-gamified services and apps for consumers, this session will show you exactly why gamification sucks, why that’s actually quite a pity, and how you can fix it.

This session is about putting the heart and soul of game design into designing experiences, and using it to focus the well-meaning intention of games in the first place: making stuff more fun! This session is for everyone.

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UXAustralia 2011: Gamification sucks

  1. 1. Welcome to my presentation!! Gamification SUCKs!!!! by Paris Buttfield-Addison
  2. 2. Paris Buttfield-Addison Secret Lab Director ofProduct Guy Rhetorical Contrivance
  3. 3. GamificationSUCKS This may come as a surprise to you.
  4. 4. The Secret Lab Guide toGamespotting
  5. 5. How many people like chocolate?Would every food be vastly improved by the application of layer of chocolate?
  6. 6. Gamification is th e use of game play elements for no n-game applicationsGamification works by makingtechnology more engaging taking advantage of humans psychological predisposition to engage in gaming. The technique can en courage people to perform chores that they ordinarily consider boring, such as completing surveys, s hopping, or reading web sites.
  7. 7. why would you want to do that? Gamification is the use of game play elements for non-game applications Gamification works by making technology more engaging how does it do that?
  8. 8. thing game social mechanicsthing is now more appealing people are going to go nuts for this
  9. 9. game mechanicsincreased engagement
  10. 10. snake oil image::
  11. 11. gambrian explosionWill WrightThe world of gamification sure does have a lot of silly words, doesn’t it?
  12. 12. applied psychology?
  13. 13. motivational design thanks, Sebastian Deterdingsuga r coa ting?
  14. 14. blah, blah, blah, fun! far too many people ut h? tr of gr ain
  15. 15. What’s the SwedishExperiment tell us? sounds like a Robert Ludlum novel!
  16. 16. why would you want to do that? Gamification is the use of game play elements for non-game applications what gamification actually does
  17. 17. Gamification is the use of game playelements for non-game applications what’s a game play element?
  20. 20. Many people are seeing it like this...
  21. 21. We shall give them worthlesspoints for doing this thing! I have a thing I want my users to do!
  22. 22. Mustn’t forget to throw on aleaderboard so they compete! We’ll give them some badges too! Wow!
  23. 23. ...? image:
  24. 24. Social media strategyGamification strategy
  25. 25. Gamification is reassuring. It gives Vice Presidents andBrand Managers comfort: theyre doing everything right,and they can do even better by adding "a gamesstrategy" to their existing products, slathering on"gaminess" like aioli on ciabatta at the consultantsindulgent sales lunch.
  26. 26. It’s not just a layer to slather on.
  27. 27. Let’s laugh at my clients...
  28. 28. human psychology“Motivating cons umer behavior through game mechanics” appropriate challenges points variable rewards levels scoreboards pattern recognition achievements curiosity badges reputation & identity assignments social proof surprise status feedback loops etc.
  29. 29. just mechanicsmore than
  30. 30. mechanicsintrinsic vs. extrinsic
  31. 31. the real game play elements...
  32. 32. ... are the things you can learn and master.
  33. 33. Mechanics, Dynamics, Aesthetics
  34. 34. nicsmecha dyna mics aesth etics
  35. 35. engaging? long term? short term? Gamification works by making technology more engaging how does it do that?
  36. 36. when to use it and how
  37. 37. User GoalsProduct Goals
  38. 38. Motivational Design User GoalsDon’t mess around here Product Goals
  39. 39. User Goals D ata Points and Badges kinChecProduct Goals StackOverflow
  40. 40. what’s wrong with gamification? motivational design
  41. 41. doing it properlyauthenticity mastery freedom
  42. 42. doing it properlyauthenticity intrinsic achievement mastery autonomy freedom
  43. 43. authenticity, meaning, etc...
  44. 44. What does Foursquare actually give you?
  45. 45. thing game mechanicsthing is now more appealing people are going to go nuts for this
  46. 46. appealing thing with game mechanics people are going to go nuts for this
  47. 47. What we have learned from our users is that anygame aspect has to be, at least for finance, moreoriented toward some specific thing that you areworking toward: I want to buy a house or a car,take a vacation, get out of debt, save for myretirement or buy a big-screen TV, or whatever itmay be. Otherwise you have a system of points withno levels or no end game. Aaron Patzer
  48. 48. An amplifier?
  49. 49. Status
  50. 50. Story?Make you part of something bigger.
  51. 51. mastery
  52. 52. Tell us what you like and we’ll give you ameaningless icon to entice your friends to do likewise.
  53. 53. Meh.engagement trinkets
  54. 54. figuring stuff out fun! Learning
  55. 55. intrinsic vs. extrinsic
  56. 56. Learning is fun under optimal conditions. Raph Koster
  57. 57. How do I create optimal conditions?
  58. 58. InterestingChallenges 1. Goals 2. Rules
  59. 59. Let’s laugh at my clients again...
  60. 60. Ask a golfer about this. A voluntary attempt toovercome unnecessary obstacles. Bernard Suits
  61. 61. Signpost your goalsStructure your goalsScaffold your goals.
  62. 62. Autonomy
  63. 63. If he had been a great and wisephilosopher, like the writer of this book, hewould now have comprehended that Workconsists of whatever a body is obliged todo, and that Play consists of whatever abody is not obliged to do. Mark Twain
  64. 64. wo rk! greatLess autonomousSloppy & less creativeMore likely to cheatMore likely to quit
  65. 65. people feel controlled by the person giving the rewards
  66. 66. how do you maintain autonomy? mix and match!
  67. 67. People turn up for one reason. People stay for another.
  68. 68. badges etc. Identify your life cycle. activities Newbie recognition Expert Master
  69. 69. Laughing at a client one last time... We’d like a turn key gamification solution within the next 3 weeks, thanks!
  70. 70. The usual tired example. Great example.
  71. 71. Nike Plusmotivating fitness?
  72. 72. sign post
  73. 73. meaningful reward sharingsign post positive reinforcement
  74. 74. Rules of Gamespotting Rule of GamespottingNot everything can be gamified.
  75. 75. Design for the people who areactually using the damn thing.
  76. 76. Look for opportunities to deeply entwine the gamification with your core product.
  77. 77. Stuff from games doesn’t makethings fun, engaging or popular. Games are fun when they’re well designed.
  78. 78. Strive for the long wow. But start small.
  79. 79. DidDid you mean: nag a ram you mean: recursion
  80. 80. Don’t start with badges.
  81. 81. Not every compelling interaction is fun.
  82. 82. Allowing users to discover the utility in your product
  83. 83. I will give you candy if you click the button. I will take away your candy if you don’t click the button.
  84. 84. what’s wrong with gamification what it actually does when to use it
  85. 85. Thank you. @parisba paris@secretlab.com.auSlides online within a week or so.