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6 Gamification Dos and Don’ts

gamification-dos-dontsFor such a hot topic, so we’re going to let you know all of the gamification dos and don’ts to keep you on track!

Everyone and their auntie seems to be jumping on the gamification bandwagon these days. The number of stores offering reward cards for regular buyers has increased. Admittedly this is a ‘light’ form of gamification. An increasing number of apps are taking advantage of the engagement gamification creates to keep users playing games, buying clothes, sharing photos and checking in.

But just because gamification is a popular addition in a variety of domains, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to implement or get right…

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Don’t add gamification for gamification’s sake

If your app, website, Learning Management System or other product, service, shop, or other isn’t suited to gamification, don’t try to cram it in there. A funeral services website will be an absolute laughing stock – not to mention incredibly offensive – if it awards users with points and badges for navigating around, placing orders, or leaving reviews!

moneyDo align gamification to objectives

It’s highly unlikely that adding gamification to your Learning Management System or other platform willy-nilly will actually achieve what you want it to.

To get the results you want, you’ll need to align the gamification to your objectives. So think carefully about what behavioural outcome you want to encourage in your learners or users.

If you want them to keep coming back, logging on, loading up the app, shopping in your store, etc, then give them points or badges when they come back or buy something else.

By rewarding their return behaviour, they’ll be more likely to come back again and again because they associate your product or service with a happy, accomplished feeling.

Don’t use the wrong gamification features

A leaderboard of Viagra.com’s top buyers will not go down well – yet a points-based system, which is anonymous and offers real-world rewards (1,000 points gives you a free packet) will work.

Similarly, a fitness app which awards badges without showing the top achievers on a leaderboard, won’t be engaging.

gamification dos and don'tsDo shake things up (sometimes)

If users know how many points they’ll get or which badges are on offer, things will soon get stale.

Shaking things up by offering sporadic bonus points, badges, or flash sales will keep things fresh and engaging.

Users will never know when these things will happen, and the unpredictability can be exciting.

Don’t give up

If you think your website, LMS, etc is perfect for gamification but you aren’t seeing any positive benefits yet, persevere. Of course the leaderboard will look sparse at first and people won’t be all that motivated to reach the top.

But here’s where points and badges work to generate excitement around the LMS or other platform.

Do give up

gamification dos“But you just told me not to give up…!” Sorry, but if you feel you’ve given it your best shot, maybe gamification isn’t for you. In this case, we’re afraid that gamification will be more of a hindrance than a help.

However, before you strip gamification from your offerings, have another look at your strategy. Could it be the kinds of gamification you’ve implemented aren’t suited to your website, LMS or store?

Perhaps you’ve gone about things the wrong way and have just lumped gamification on top of your pre-existing service? To  take advantage of the engagement that gamification generates, you need to integrate it into your offering.

Whether you’re trying to gamify an LMS or a business, you should think carefully to create an effective union. Click the button below to find out more about how to align gamification to your business’ strategy!

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