Gamification applies game design to non-game environments. It’s widely used in marketplaces, marketing and productivity apps.
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Gamification applies game design to real-world activities.
- Points • Uber, Chase, American Express, Starbucks
- Badges • Audible, Duolingo, Khan Academy
- Streaks • Makerlog, Github, #100DaysOfNoCode, 1 Second Everyday, WIP.chat
- Easter Eggs • Tesla, Google Chrome, Alexa
- Notifications • Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Community, Dialup, Tinder, LinkedIn
- Leaderboards • Pioneer, Product Hunt, Github, Cuppa, Peloton, Fitbit
- Internal Currencies • TikTok Coins, Uber Cash, Cash App
- Hotels • Hilton, Marriott, IHG, Best Western
- Dating • Tinder, Bumble, The League
- Fitness • Fitbit, Harvy, Peloton, Zombies Run, Mirror, Apple Watch, MyFitnessPal, Strava, RunKeeper
- Education • Duolingo, Khan Academy, Audible, Coursera, Kaggle, Udemy, Teachable, Codeacademy
- Productivity • Habitica, Forest, Todoist, Habit List, 750 Words
- Governments • Social Credit System, Speed Camera Lottery, The Longitude Act, SBIR, U.S. Army
- Effective game mechanics will be copied by tech giants. Facebook copied features from Snapchat after Spiegel turned down an acquisition offer.
- Gamification will lead to longer-lasting moats. Better growth and retention means stronger social and data network effects.
- Non-game app addiction will rise. There are hotlines for social media addiction.
- Build a great user experience before adding gamification. You can’t use game mechanics to save a poor product.
- Run a contest to grow. See examples from Pieter Levels and Gumroad.
- Let users vote on new features. Check out Webflow Wishlist. You can use Feature Upvote, Canny or Upvoty to build your own.
- Boost engagement with user streaks. Examples include 1 Second Everyday, Makerlog and Snapstreaks.
- Boost growth with referral programs. Morning Brew and theSkimm are great examples. You can use RabbitRabbit, SparkLoop or SendFox to add a referral program to your newsletter.
- Add a loyalty program to lower churn and boost revenue. ASOS sends customers coupons on the 1-year anniversary of their first purchase. Seyfarth Shaw LLP provides mini sabbaticals to longtime employees.
- Use streaks to build personal habits. Gamify your life with apps like Habitica and Habit List. Seinfeld used the streak method to write jokes every day.
- Build a business based on variable rewards. RandomPizza, BarkBox and SaloonBox deliver surprises each month. Nir Eyal says that “variable rewards are one of the most powerful tools companies implement to hook users.”
“Gamification is dead.”
It’s not dead. It’s everywhere.
“Gamification isn’t new.”
It’s not new. And it’s just getting started.
“Gamification is immoral.”
From Hooked by Nir Eyal, “If it can’t be used for evil, it’s not a superpower.” Gamification is not immoral. It’s amoral. You choose how to use it.
“Gamification is a buzzword.”
Does that make it any less effective? How many external triggers did you respond to yesterday? How many internal triggers?
- Gamification: A Guide • The history of gamification and the 8 core drives.
- Variable Rewards: Want To Hook Users? Drive Them Crazy • A high-level view of the “Hook Model” and the power of variable rewards.
- The Future of Gamification in Property Management • How gamification can be used to improve training and retention.
- James Williams on the Attention Economy • Why we may not be equipped for an attention war with billion-dollar companies.
- Gamification Sucks… How to Improve Gamification • Why extrinsic rewards aren’t enough.
- The Economics of Online Games • Cool stories from games that illustrate economic concepts.
- Law of Unintended Consequences • Consider the second and third-order effects of game mechanics.
- A Framework on Actionable Gamification • Build a great product before adding game mechanics.
- Game to Grow • How Dungeons & Dragons is used for therapy.