Introduction• There’s been a lot of discussion in the user experience space over the past few months on "Gamiﬁcation" • Gamiﬁcation: using techniques and attributes from video games and applying them to other domains (such as web or productivity apps) to better engage users• I have surveyed the many thoughts on this topic and have some of my own
Keep the "score" positive• I tested a design with users that used a “score” in a prominent location • The number represented assets and liabilities “totaled up”• Because it could sometimes be a negative number, it was not as useful as it could be• If a “score” is perceived as negative or judgmental it may “turn off” users • It should represent positive progress • If progress is slow, don’t take points away, just keep the score “steady"
"Great artists steal"• Learn from where it’s already being done and done well• Do you have reward points on your credit cards? Or with an airline or a hotel chain? • These royalty programs are “scores” that inﬂuence behavior• Look at how successful loyalty programs work and apply appropriate lessons from them in your design
Provide tiny victories• If you have an design that is used frequently (or you want it to be used frequently) provide tiny victories that give positive reinforcement• The victories can be absolutely meaningless to anyone except the user• Positive reinforcement will inﬂuence repeat visits and use
Encourage positive behavior • I just bought an iPod Nano and started using the built- in pedometer • It logs every step, and gives me that “score” every day • It’s a little thing, but having it on my person has made me get up and walk around more than I used to • Awards and points when you accomplish something (on a to-do list, for example) is a great and simple motivator
Keep the users core task in mind • I saw a recent design that “gamiﬁed” e-mail • While it had some good ideas, it didn’t work because it tried to align a game concept with a communication medium • The classic square peg/round hole scenario - It didn’t ﬁt • Remember the context of use and the core tasks of an application… and be mindful that gamiﬁcation may not work
Avoid timers• Users are time sensitive as is, and if you have a timer you immediately add an additional stress to the user’s life… • ...and you better have a damn good reason to do so• Ticketmaster’s timer (which counts down how long you have to buy a ticket) is a good example of why to do it – but it’s still annoying and pressures the user• If you use timers to try and “increase productivity” in an app, you should ask yourself: Would I want my computer to “time me” doing what I am doing?
Dont make your design too competitive• If you make a social web app competitive then you are going to stratify your user base... • ..and potentially end up creating an experience that alienates new users who don’t have the same “experience points” as older users• Good game “worlds” has “silos” that group users of similar level, and so there is less “class warfare” between the 1% and the other 99%…
Closing• Gamiﬁcation is a tactic, not a roadmap• It may not work for many different situations or design problems• Use these techniques thoughtfully and carefully