Ecommerce: The Nexus of Delight & Retail Optimisation Mechanics

Nexus of delight 3 Ecommerce The Nexus of Delight amp Retail Optimisation Mechanics

Gamification has been a huge focus of my life, but the last few years have seen me change my career quite dramatically. I find myself in a role that no longer revolves around using game mechanics and the like.  Instead, I am focused on improving online retail experiences through testing, optimisation, personalisation, merchandising and so on.

Whilst gamification may seem a million miles away from this, there is actually very little difference. They are both focused on behavioural change – they just use different mechanics. Read More ...

Gamification: Is Loyalty Going Wrong?

JTP4lm03tJzbYcJvHOYV 907kf Gamification Is Loyalty Going Wrong

This article is interesting, as it shows consumer groups are converned about loyalty schemes in retail that use challenges to encourage more spending.

Consumer groups have raised concerns over new “challenges” introduced by major UK supermarkets, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, and Morrisons, that reward shoppers with extra loyalty points for increased spending. These challenges, part of increasingly sophisticated loyalty card schemes, could potentially lead to overspending. While supermarkets claim these schemes offer better value and personalised savings, consumer group Which? and debt charity StepChange warn they could encourage people to spend beyond their means. The caution comes amidst rising food prices and the average person holding loyalty cards for three different supermarkets. Read More ...

The Importance of Offboarding

Offboarding 2 e1639665586873 The Importance of Offboarding

A million years ago (well 2013) I did a talk at my first big conference – Gamification World Congress ’13. I chose to talk about a potential framework for a gamified career path, using a game board, constant feedback loops etc.

Career 2.0 Gamification of a Career – GWC Talk

It was a decent talk and the concept was, if I do say so myself, a bit ahead of its time. That said, I do see elements of it in the real world now, which is awesome!

I spent time then and have done a lot since, talking about the importance of onboarding new members of staff. However, I know now, that I missed a very important part of the employee journey – Offboarding

I did a quick search for a definition of offboarding and found this one that I felt was interesting.

Offboarding is the process that leads to the formal separation between an employee and a company through resignation, termination, or retirement. It encompasses all the decisions and processes that take place when an employee leaves.

  • Transferring that employee’s job responsibilities
  • Deactivating access rights and passwords
  • Turning in equipment
  • Conducting exit interviews to gather feedback

Read More ...

New Solution & Gamification Design Lenses Card Deck

20210826 162544 e1639666992327 New Solution 038 Gamification Design Lenses Card Deck

For the first time in a while, I have a sort of new product for you! The Solution & Gamification Design Lenses Card Deck!

Basically it is a series of cards that contain questions related to various frameworks I use in my life as a solution designer. They cover ground from the User Type HEXAD, to the COM-B behaviour change model and lots in between – including the “What’s the worst that could happen” card!

Available through DriveThruCards, they come as a deck of 44 cards – which is actually 2 decks of the 22 cards, just to try and make them better value for you. I am also providing a downloadable deck for you if you want that instead.

Buy Them!

The link to the physical cards is

You can get the download and print deck from here [purchase_link id=”8718″ style=”plain” color=”” text=”£10 Download Buy Now!” direct=”true”]


But What If They Get Addicted To Your Gamified System?

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation But What If They Get Addicted To Your Gamified System

Amazingly the question “But what if people get addicted to the solution and stop working” has come up in more than one conversation with clients over the years.

It’s an interesting question, that is worth thinking about. At first, it is easy to dismiss this as silly. When you think about it, thousands of games are released each year – about 9000 just on Steam in 2019 – the majority of them are totally unknown or fail. So how on earth is your gamified system going to become more important to people than the games they want to play or their work?

Then when you start to think about it, there is an element to consider. Your gamified system is likely more interesting than their day job. If you are good at gamification design, you will know how to do that – that’s the point, making stuff more interesting! So if you have a system where you can collect points and convert them into prizes, as a simple example, then that may well be more interesting than doing real work! We call this Overjustification Effect. Very simply, this is when the rewards are more important to you than the work. It can be seen when you apply rewards to games. The game should be intrinsically enjoyable, but if you add an unbalanced reward, many people will stop playing because they enjoy the game and only play to get the reward.

If you design your system to heavily rely on extrinsic rewards to motivate activity, then  Overjustification effect can be an issue. People start to only do the work for the rewards, which can, in turn, lead to a decrease in quality of work.

How to Address This

  • The first solution is to not rely as heavily on extrinsic rewards! Build the system to encourage activity with feedback and nudges rather than overt bribery.
  • Don’t worry too much about the potential issues. After all, if you make a solution that is so enjoyable that people want to do it rather than their work, you should probably be making “real” games for entertainment!
  • Reduce the availability of the solution. If you have to use extrinsic rewards, then only allow access in short burst. For instance, there are some games that I will load up on the morning to get my daily streak reward but then will close until there is a convenient time to play. You could set your system to only allow a set number of actions per day, to reduce the risk of people overusing it.
  • Read More ...