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Gamification Techniques!!

Hey Suds, I was pondering over our discussion the other day, and got a few more queries, would you mind discussing those.

Wonderful, go ahead my friend.

Sandeep: if I have to consider "Gamifying" a particular site or business process, how should I go about?

Suds:  At a very high level, you can look at adopting following steps,

·         Define your problem

·         Establish KPIs/metrics

·         Understand you user segment, and their respective drivers/motivations or lack of it

·         Do the necessary mapping of KPIs VS Motivational style.

·         Establish the right Gamification technique - rewards based, game based

·         Finally measure progress made on established KPIs, and feed it back in the loop


Sandeep: I was wondering what goes into selecting a specific Gamification technique?

Suds: As I mentioned to you in our earlier conversation, Gamification can be enabled either through a reward based program, or through engaging users by making them play relevant Games.

While selecting any technique, it is very important to understand the actual problem and the target audience/users of it. What are the motivational influencers of the target audience? Is it rewards in the form of money or recognition or both, and then accordingly design your Gamification program.

While selecting a technique, first figure out if the problem is about making a mundane thing interesting? OR Is it about encouraging people to collaborate/co-create? OR Is it about encouraging for doing more? OR Is it about making a complex workflow simple through story telling?

Just to put this in perspective, amongst the above ones, the first and the last can be realized through Games based design whereas the others can be resolved using rewards based program.

Sandeep: awesome, game based I can understand, however can you help me understand rewards based in little depth?

Suds:  yes sure, a reward based technique usually consists of,

·         Defining a scoring framework - how do you intend to award scores, etc.

·         Defining a badging framework - how and when do you intend to award a badge.

·         Establishing levels - what are the important levels you want to define as milestone to reward users

·         Establishing rewards framework - on getting to specific level, what do you intend to reward users with and how?

And most important is to establish configurability of each of the above element.

Sandeep: ok, got it, any specific care one needs to take while designing these rewards based program?

Suds:  Often, people take granted that introducing the reward based Gamification technique will yield result. Sometimes, it may not fetch the desired results at desired pace especially if the target user profiling is not done properly. Also at times, the points and badges are given without much participation and then it can start becoming counterproductive and your target audience can start losing importance and interests. Hence you need to carefully design these programs, monitor progress and keep bringing in fresh ideas to keep your audience engaged.

Sandeep: One last question, as I start to understand this better, everything is so much centered around end user, which means you have to have a solid user database, which in turn means, you must ensure user registers on the site. Frankly, I as a user hardly like to take a pain of registration.

Suds:  Right, I share your concern. Nobody likes to register on the site and give any details before starting to do any serious work. Most often, many users are just put off by the registration activity. To avoid this, you can leverage your social identify which you may have with any of the social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. or Microsoft Passport and provision your site to authenticate based on any of these trusted credentials. In fact you can then use your end users social presence to understand their preference, likings, temperaments, friends and family associations and establish unique targeted campaigns.

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