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Now that you have all read my little eBook (sorry, could resist the plug) or have at least read my previous blogs, you should have an understanding of what Gamification is and why you may want it.
You will also have recently seen my post Gamification Gone Bad, which shows you a few pitfalls. The next step is to actually start to gamify stuff. First, I thought I would make you do some work and ask you a few questions.
1. What is the exact task or process you want to gamify?
It’s all well and good saying “I want to gamify X, Y or Z”. The trouble is, what part of it do you want to gamify? If it is a single task, that’s fairly easy. If you are looking at a process as a whole, then it gets a little trickier. Most likely it is just one or two tasks that you wish to gamify to improve the engagement or motivation needed to achieve those tasks.
2. Why do you want to gamify it.
This could be the first question, but I think it helps to have an idea what you want to gamify and then figure out why (before how). Is it just because you think you need to, or is there some intrinsic benefit to the process. Will it improve the productivity of you team by gamifiying the tasks they do day to day? Will it make the task more interesting? These are all questions you have to ask about each task you are looking to gamifiy (A checklist is below).
3. How are you going to gamify it.
So you know what you want to gamify and why you want to do it. Finally you need to look at how. This is a big question which, with luck you will have some ideas about from my previous writing. Will a leader board and some badges work? Are you looking to fuel pride, ego, productivity or any of the other emotions or mechanics?
1. Collect Feedback
It is so important that the users of the new solution are able to give feedback. If they think it is rubbish, then it is of no use to anyone. Don’t get proud about your solution, be prepared to try another approach. There is no “one size fits all” solution here.
2. Collect Metrics
You have to collect metrics about the new solution. If you can’t tell if there is any change in the behaviour of the users or that there is an increase in productivity, then how are you supposed to know if it is all working?
The Overall Check List
- I Know WHAT I am going to Gamify
- I know WHY I am gamifying it
- I know HOW I am gamifying it
- I have discussed this with the potential users
- I have implemented a beta of the solution
- I have run user testing with a group
- The users have provided feedback
- I have made changes based on the feedback where possible
- I have launched the solution
- I am collecting quantifiable feedback and success / failure metrics
Things to remember
Don’t get me wrong, these are all very hard questions to answer if you want to do this properly. There are also a few other things that need to be done after these three questions are fully answered.
Never forget, gamification will only be successful if the users buy into it.
Think about whom your users are – your target audience. Will your ideas be seen as patronising, are you trying to over simplify it all.
Most importantly, is it going to make the tasks more bearable or more productive – is it fun?
Most important of all, and this is so big I think it needs mentioning again – Will there be any gain to anyone. Gamification for the sake of it is bad. There must, must, MUST be a reason for it and the solution must, must, MUST be done well and with the user in mind at all time.
Until next time, Soupytwist