Gamification, is it a game changer?
The hype of gamification has been built on the potential powerful engaging responsive design that gaming induces on cognitive behaviour to grab attention, memory, perception and high levels of engagement.
Great examples of gamification includes Foursquare, Empire Avenue, eBay and Facebook with its multitude of apps. FarmVille is one of the most successful early models of gamification, which created capital from attracting a large audience with rewards and loyalty, but ultimately it got users to part with real cash for gifts and rewards.
Everyday companies can use gamification in simple ways, without having to design complex UX or apply heavy psychological thinking to the process. Here are three simple techniques that can produce outstanding results:
Providing a competitive edge and user bragging rights. Rewarding your customers with points for user-generated reviews, ratings and contribution to the content on your site to push up their leaderboard results is clever and easy to implement. It makes the customer look smart and it gives you great content. It also maximises opportunities for social sharing of your content as well as SEO.
Rewarding users with online badges for completing tasks is a highly simple, successful model to increase engagement and social sharing of your content. TripAdvisor do this very well, but it is also a great opportunity for SMEs – for example badges for completing tasks, online weight loss, fitness programs, e-learning programs, cooking techniques, FMCG, the list goes on.
3. Check in and QR codes
Not just the realm of Facebook. Restaurants, cafes and retailers all have a great opportunity to launch incentives for check-ins. A QR swipe for points is also a great way to get interaction and induce loyalty.
While it clearly could be argued that the above three examples are not taking gamification to its fullest extent or definition, these are simple techniques that use an element of gamification that any business, of any size, can utilise in cost effective ways to maximise results.
Fi Bendall is the managing director of Bendalls Group, a team of highly trained digital specialists, i-media subject matter experts and developers.