4 Simple Questions To Transform Your Gamification Implementation

It is simple to jump to solutioneering as soon as you feel you have a problem that needs fixing. However, taking a step back and asking 4 simple questions can save you time and money in the long run.

  1.  “What is the problem”
  2.   “Why do we need to fix it”
  3.   “What needs to change to fix it”
  4.   “How do we do that”

What is the problem?

First, you need to explore What you are wanting to change. This is the easy bit and is likely to change, but it is a start. Be as specific as you can, but be open minded as you explore further!

Most people already have this in mind when they first go to someone asking for gamification.

Why do we need to fix it?

I have spoken about this in the past, but it is so important that I like to bring it up from time to time.

Many gamification projects happen with the best of intentions, but are doomed to fail because no one stops to as the question “Why?”

Any behaviour focused intervention needs to have a clear focus, otherwise, you have no hope of solving your problems. You need to have a clear understanding of why you need to make a change. Is there an issue with people using a system? Are people not doing what you expected day to day. Are people not donating to your charity site when you thought they would?

Very often the answer to the initial what is “We want to improve engagement”. However, that still begs the question “why?” Not just that, it also creates the new question “What is engagement?”

What needs to change to fix it?

To be successful you must identify what the root problems are, and what needs to change to fix them. If you have decided that people are not using your system because it is too complex, you must ask the question “what needs to change”

What may have looked like a behaviour issue, people were not using the system properly, may be a usability issue. That requires a totally different solution.

You will cycle between What and Why for a while until you have solid answers to the questions. You can also talk yourself in circles, so need to be pragmatic and occasionally start from scratch!

How do we do that?

Once you have got your solid answers to

  •  “What is the problem”
  •   “Why do we need to fix it”
  •   “What needs to change to fix it”

 you can start to look at how to make those changes and gamification may form part of that. Then you can move onto the next phase. There are many frameworks, such as my own Gamification Design Framework and Toolkit, that can help from there.


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Also published on Medium.

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