Duolingo is a thriving online learning platform that has more than 300 million users worldwide. Duolingo is one of the best examples of gamification in learning I've ever seen—if not the best. How did Duolingo become so much successful, popular, and productive? Here are my thoughts on Duolingo's gamified experience a gamified learning platform.
One of the most critical aspects of learning a new language is to create the habit of learning. If you spend only 10 minutes per day learning a new language, after 2-3 years, your small efforts will lead to an epic win. Many little makes a mickle! Duolingo records your daily streaks. You have to achieve your daily goals to save and improve your streak. The urge to protect the daily streak motivates the users to put a small amount of effort every day and preserve their streaks. Users usually can't protect their daily streaks for more than months, but even if they lose their daily streaks, they will make a new regular habit. In average, it takes 66 days before a new behavior becomes automatic. In other words, you have to do a particular activity for about 66 days to create a new habit.
Duolingo uses many well-implemented progress bars and point systems, which stimulates dopamine in the users' brain. Dopamine motivates the users to concentrate and work hard to reach their goal, which in this case is learning a new language. You can do small actions every day, for example, spending 10 minutes per day learning a new language, and Duolingo will reward you. You will see your progress towards your goal.
Duolingo has an active community full of helpful people. And those people share a lot of useful stuff in the community. Duolingo lets the users to be grateful and say thanks to each other by giving lingots to helpful comments. This motivates users to share their valuable knowledge. And creates a sense of belonging to the community, too.
Competition with friends is much more engaging than the competition with strangers. Competition between friends even makes them closer to each other. Unlike many unsuccessful leaderboards, Duolingo's leaderboard won't drop you in a massive leaderboard to compete with all of the users. It matches you with your Facebook friends. Racing with my friends for learning a new language, was one of the best experiences I've ever had.
Self-efficacy is an individual's belief in his or her innate ability to achieve goals. When I spent 15 minutes to learn Italian for the 90th consecutive days, I was one of the best versions of myself. I thought, "I can do a certain thing for 90 successive days. I definitely can climb Mount Everest, too"! Duolingo hasn't only taught me a new language; it's made me a better person and increased my self-confidence. Now, I know that I'm capable of doing great things and of staying in deep concentration for a long time.
Duolingo uses external and Black Hat motivations in the first phases of the Player's Journey. But it will internalize these motivations by helping you to create habits. You can unlock all Duolingo achievements in a short time. Duolingo's currency, Lingot, will lose its meaning after the first few months. But that is not a weakness. Duolingo uses extrinsic motivations for 2-3 months to keep you concentrated and then, learning a new language will be your new daily habit. So, you won't need that extrinsic stuff anymore because you will have had the excellent manner of everyday learning.
Duolingo does good stuff! Duolingo's team have a purpose behind their endeavors, and they share their mission with their users. And this has made their users more loyal.