Here is a little excerpt for the book for you, you know that book that I am still editing but hope to have published in the next 2 weeks…!
Whist basing the value of the reward on a user’s personal investment is important, it is also important not to lose sight of why you were gamifying the system in the first place.
Normally it is because there are certain actions or activities that you want to encourage the user to perform and complete. That being the case, you have to sometimes consider how valuable the action is to you, not just how much effort it is for the user.
If an action is simple for the user and valuable to you – then reward them. If it is harder for them and valuable to you – reward them more. If it is easy and of low value to you – don’t reward them much. So far, so obvious.
However, it is when the activity is hard for the user, but of lower value to you, that it can get a bit tricky. First, ask the question “Do we actually want the user to do this if it is so hard for them and of so little value to us?” If you can answer that and still feel that the action is needed, you have to give them a decent reward. Not as much as you would if it was high effort for them and high value to you, but more than low effort and high value!
The picture below an outline of how this would work. The more stars, the greater the value of the reward. Again, this is value as perceived by the user!
As I say, the book should be out in the next week or two, sign up to find out when it is out and possibly even get a little early bird discount!