Why Gamification Campaigns Fail
Getting the best results out of your gamification campaign means getting gamification right. But to be able to do that, you must first understand the essence of gamification and how to make it meaningful.
Gamification is an approach in which designers incorporate game elements into a non-game context in order to bolster user interaction in regards to a product or service. This approach is mostly applied by businesses in order to engage employees and enhance their performance. Undoubtedly, gamification scales well and makes tasks that are otherwise boring much more fun.
However, more often than not, gamification campaigns tend to fail. In an experiment conducted by two Wharton employees, a relatively boring task of convincing businesses to offer coupons for discounted products or services that were then sold on their company’s website was gamified into a basketball themed sales program.
Despite their high hopes, the employees were surprised to find that playing the game did not boost sales performance, and it also did not enhance the way salespeople felt at work. Digging into their data further revealed that gamification won’t do any good if the people playing the game don’t feel good about it. This leaves us with the conclusion that gamification is about tapping on users' intrinsic motivations by allowing them to have fun, and not manipulating them into doing things.
Moreoever, if you get unnecessarily fancy with the features, you will no longer be able to incentivize users into completing real-life tasks. It must also be kept in mind that the system you're applying gamification to be good intrinsically. However, if it is not, then gamification won't make it any different.
Gamification is not as straightforward as it seems. One must make sure that the tone of the subject matter and the fun factor do not outweigh each other. The employees should be interacting with your system because they want to and not because they feel obliged towards “mandatory fun.” You must not force them to perform certain tasks but instead make use of subtle prompts that they can find themselves and feel as if they are in control.
Moreover, you must also design the gameplay and the rewards in precision with the users. Achievements and badges work only for things that people want to get anyway. Simultaneously, you should also ensure that players don't have to force themselves to use the system by fulfilling specific requirements of theirs.
You have to make the users feel that your brand is concerned about what holds value for them. Modifying the tone of subject matter and design according to them will prove to be an efficient way of fostering loyalty.
Similar to autonomy, this requirement revolves around keeping things minimal, so users don't feel overwhelmed or confused, but rather find themselves at ease. For example, as most users do not prefer reading lots of texts, you can use icons to represent things.
In conclusion, to avoid the pitfalls of gamification, we encourage businesses to use Tentacle's consulting service. This will not only keep them from succumbing to the same mistakes as discussed above but also to develop a proper gamification campaign with guaranteed success.