Gamification in products is easier said than done.
In my career, I worked on 2 gamification products, both meant for internal sales staff to incentivize them to sell more. One failed miserably while the other received decent traction.
Some learnings from my side:
If gamified, what business goal are you hoping to achieve?
Ex: In sales, you want to gamify to encourage more bookings. In fitness, you want to maximize exercise hours for more engagement. In games, you want to gamify to increase stickiness & position upsells.
Note: Don't gamify for the heck of it. In fact, for some products, it might be counter-productive & a distraction.
The metric you gamify needs to have 3 attributes:
Ex: For SDRs, meeting counts check all 3 parameters.
Allot desirable rewards for players. Aimless virtual currency won't work. Based on your audience, there are 4 types of rewards that can work:
Points on your game table are linked to triggers in your product or database records. Double check those links because your competition loses credibility fast if players discover a calculation flaw.
Avoid periodic pull models when displaying a points table. If a data point changes every minute but you're updating figures on a leaderboard on an hourly or daily basis, people will lose interest. Real-time updates is the way to go.
Pay close to attention to the messages/imagery you show at every milestone & every level-up. The copy matters a lot. Gamification is all about how you make users "feel".
If it's an internal gamification tool, it needs to be announced by higher ups (for validation) & requires constant communication. This was the main reason one of my products failed.
Very important: Let's say 1000 players are playing. The person ranked 650 will lose motivation pretty quickly as they have no hope to make it to the top.
But you still want them to remain hooked. How? Engage them with personal bests/streaks & award badges for specific actions. Create random wildcard rewards that keep them in the game.
Are there some products that employ gamification well?
1 - Duolingo is an extremely effective language app. It uses streaks & amazing messaging to help you attain language literacy pretty quickly.
2 - NikeFuel uses peer to peer competition and leaderboards to motivate people to keep going and break records.
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