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A question I am often asked is “I am making a new product, when should I start looking at gamification?”
That is usually combined with “How much will it cost?”
The answer to the second is linked to the first, but the first is much easier to answer! Essentially, if you are considering gamification as part of your engagement strategy – build it into your plans at the very very start! As I have stated many times, adding gamification to a product when it is already built – ie patching an engagement issue – is never going to be effective. If you build it into the product and make it core, then it has a much higher chance of actually working. That doesn’t mean it is easier to do at this stage or that it will work – that leads us on to the second question. Will it be expensive?
Probably, but you won’t get a “standard” cost out of most gamification consultants worth their salt.
If you are building a product, the likelihood is that you have found a niche that needs filling or you have a new way to approach an old problem. How much is it going to cost you to build? Until you have gone and gotten quotes from developers etc. you don’t know. Same for gamification. There is no once size fits all solution – no matter what anyone tells you. Every platform, developer, designer or whatever will need to tailor a solution to your specific needs. You need to get them involved and get them to quote for their work – just like anyone else. Get several quotes, look at any work they may have that they can show you, but don’t ask them to put their finger in the air and make up a cost – you won’t like the amount they say!!
Do it right, do it at the start and build it into your cost plan.