5 Must Know Tips If You Want To Avoid Failure In Gamification

How to Not Suck at Gamification

Posted by Ali Akhtari on 2019 Aug 15

In 2012, Gartner shared an article about the failure of gamification. Based on their stats, "by 2014, 80% of gamified apps will fail due to poor design." Right now, you can find many gamification failure examples, and we're going to discuss the reasons behind the failure of a gamified experience. Unfortunately, creating a poor-designed gamified platform is the most comfortable option for every gamifier.  Many gamifiers chose the easy and wrong choice. Brian Burke, the author of Gamify, believes that "poor game design" is one of the most critical reasons for the failure of gamified platforms. It's easy to use design a gamified platform based on superficial game techniques like PBLs. Unsurprisingly, the shortcuts lead to failure. I won't conclude that gamification is a gimmick. But I want to say that falling in the luring trap of shallow gamification is more accessible than what you think. Many gamification experts have used the game design, neuropsychology, and behavioral design concepts to improve the gamified platforms, and they've been quite successful so far.

#1: Avoid Pointsification

Many dilettante gamifiers believe that adding points, badges, and leaderboards can improve every experience. But this is the wrong, shallow, and trivial gamification. And experts call this "pointification" or "pointsification." Game designer Margaret Robertson defined the pointsification term as "taking the thing that is least essential to games and representing it as the core of the experience." PBLs rely too much on extrinsic motivations. And designing a gamified platform based on external rewards will undoubtedly lead to failure in the long run. Instead of relying on PBLs and easily accessible gamification techniques, you should try to understand the intrinsic motives of your players and use inherent rewards to motivate them. One of the most common reasons behind gamification failure is relying too much on extrinsic motivations and rewards. As oppose to pointification, gamification is not a gimmick.

#2: Design For 4 Phases

Every gamified experience includes 4 phases: Discovery: when you hear about or find a product for the first time. The first impression is one of the most critical steps in engaging the users. Onboarding: when your client starts to use your product. It could be buying your product or signing up in your platform. Now, you should learn the basic rules and functions of your products to the user. Scaffolding: the central part of Player's Journey starts when the user determines the basics of your product and leave the tutorial room to explore the world. Endgame: when the user believes that he is a veteran in your platform and used every feature of your product at least one time. Remember that the veteran users are your brand's potential evangelists. It's essential to keep in mind that as gamifiers, we don't design a single experience. We create four experiences for the players. And developing each phase of the Player's Journey is different from the others.

#3: Know Your Audience

Designing a gamified platform for everyone is an alluring goal. Honestly, this approach almost always leads to failure. You should understand your clients, their character types, and their core motives. You should conform to their specific needs or wants. Make sure that you offer your users what they love. And it's not just about understanding the desires of your clients. You have to recognize their core values and act according to them. Then, your clients will be more loyal than ever. Not considering the different user types will lead to gamification failure.

#4: Find a Perfect Balance Between Cooperation And Competition

Many gamified platforms are entirely built upon competitive game techniques. Alas, many gamified platforms fail. Competition usually increases the extrinsic motivation of users. And if you don't use extrinsic rewards and competition-based game techniques in your platform wisely, your gamified experience will fail. On the other side of the coin, cooperation gives intrinsic rewards to your players. Collaboration lets your players have social fun and healthy social interactions. I'm not going to say that using competition leads to failure. But relying too much on conflict leads to failure. Use competition at the right time and with the correct amount. Use it carefully!

#5: Design Loops

Well-implemented game loops are one of the most critical indicators of a gamified platform's success in the long run. If you want short-term engagement, you don't need to design game loops. But without well-designed game loops, it will be impossible to engage the players in long-term. Just make sure that you created game loops and your loops loop! We'll examine game loops more closely very soon.

User Experience Design
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