By Chelsea Webster
First and foremost – what the heck is gamification? Great question. It’s the process of taking something that already exists (an app, or a website, for example), and integrating game mechanics to it, so that you end up with an augmented version that people are more motivated to use1. It’s not building a new game – it’s making whatever you’re already doing into a game.
To better understand the concept, consider a few common elements that almost every gamified system has: points, levels, achievements, a leaderboard, and rewards2. No matter what app or online games you’ve played, consider how these elements add up to pique your curiosity.
Let me give you a quick example. I’ve used a customer relationship management tool that utilizes gamification (https://crm.me/gamification/). As a new user, I log in and have a grand total of 0 points. As I click on different tabs and features, the system awards me points. There’s a progress bar for how many tutorials I’ve watched, so I plug away at that because I can see exactly how far I’ve come and what’s left to be done. It’s satisfying to get that kind of feedback. I build up my understanding of the application’s functionality and learn to update customer information and make notes in profiles. After I do this a couple of times, I earn enough points to move from level 1 to level 2. With that level up, I’ve unlocked a new task and can send email to customers, earning me a badge! A badge! Yes! What a great reward!
And imagine if the rewards that you get keep getting more appealing. It starts off with some trinkets or badges, moves up to earning power, access to locked content, and finally culminates in an elevated status in the game3. I’m not even…