Gamification refers to the process of adding game workings or elements to a nongame setting which has many different components and together all of them make the process of Gamification. Gamification is helpful to fulfill a variety of purposes like improving productivity and increasing efficiency, encouraging physical exercise, and enhancing the learning experience. Gamification is the practice of involving people and changing behavior patterns through game design. This process is about making the not-so-fun activities more exciting. It’s about adding a flow to everything from marketing to mechanics to employee motivation to research.
Now, gamification is primarily concerned with technology but if we look into it its essence originally lies in human psychology. Gamification Design works because it appeals to human needs and instincts. It appeals to the need for rewards, progress, competition, recognition and status, and fun. Rewards and gifts give us the motivation to work towards a certain goal or to try to achieve something. Every person wants to move forward in their career or life and that’s why gamification works. The drive of being the first in line or in class or the first to finish the race displays the need of winning. Competition in both formal and informal situations aids the working of gamification. It aims at making technology more attractive and enjoyable by playing on the innate human desire for fun.
What is Gamification Design and why do you need it?
Gamification Design is the process of changing a product or a service from an efficiency focus to making it a fun and engaging experience. It involves adding elements of gaming like badges, leader board, etc to a non-gaming product. It involves an in-depth study of what motivates a person to enjoy and use a certain application. The goal of Gamification Design is to make the experience of using a product or service or application fun for the user instead of tedious
Gamification Design Steps
Gamification Design is a step by step process and the steps that are involved in the process are as follows:
Understanding Your Player
The first step when you are creating a player-centered gamification design is to understand your player. For this, you need to keep many aspects in mind and then make your decisions. You need to know whether your player is a sales representative or an accountant or a student. The success of your design depends on the understanding of your player. You need to identify them and try to know or collect as much knowledge as you can about your potential target players
This step involves identifying what your mission with this gamification design is. This means understanding the business scenario that is what your player is doing today, identifying the preferred outcome of the gamification design that is what the management wants, and then devising a mission to achieve it all.
Understanding Player Motivation
There are two types of motivations – intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is what motivates the player from the inside. It includes things like love, belonging, learning, curiosity, etc. The extrinsic motivation comes from the surrounding environment. It is external motivation like badges, money, fear of failure, competition, rewards, fear of punishment, etc. These factors play an important role in how the gamification design is framed.
When you have a clear understanding of your player, you have set a mission and you know what motivates your player then you are ready to apply the game mechanism and make rules. The game mechanism here refers to the elements that the player interacts with to make sure that the missions that you set are achievable and can be completed by the players.
- Points: These are singular units of measurement. It is a way to keep a count of the user actions against what the targeted behavior is. The user is awarded a point for every action that was desired from him. These points get collected over time as the player continues to perform actions within the game.
- Badges: After the accumulation of a certain number of points, the user unlocks badges. Badges are a virtual form of a trophy or an award that the user receives. It acts as a positive reinforcement method for targeted behavior, people are generally known to put in more effort if there is some sort of achievement involved.
- Leaderboard: This brings in the social perspective. A leader board displays all the users typically ranked from the highest to lowest points and badges. This instills a sense of competition amongst the users and a sense of competition is the best way to make the players more involved in the game and to make it fun.
- Challenges: It is a game mechanic used to motivate people to act a certain way. Challenges make the players get more involved in the game and spend a long time on the game.
- Game Rules: When you have decided on the game mechanism it is time to decide the rules of the gamification design. How and when the points will be awarded, what tasks need to be completed before the badges are unlocked. So decide all of these once the previous step is completed and you are good to go to the next step.
Manage, Monitor and Measure
Once you have completed the gamification design it’s time to execute the design. To execute the design, monitor the execution and check if any changes are required. After you have done so, test your design and then measure your results.
This five-step process begins with a clear understanding of the player and the mission. It is followed by the understanding of what motivates the player. The first few steps involve a lot of research. Based on the initial research the game mechanics are formed and the game rules are created. The core goal of all this research and effort in gamification design is to make it engaging and fun for the users and to make sure that it is so you need to monitor the process closely for best results.
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