Beware of Popularity Contests

Book thumbs Beware of Popularity Contests

Voting. A fair and representational way to decide if A is better than B… Isn’t it? A simple mechanic where people are asked to express their opinion by way of simply ticking a box, or clicking a button or whatever.

However, as we can see time and time again, this is not actually as fair as it seems on the face of it. Instead of being a fair view of what people feel about something, it actually turns into a popularity contest.

If you set up a competition where the criteria is “he who has the most votes wins”, what do you think is going to happen? Are those invovled going to just sit back and wait for votes to come in, or are they going to campaign? If they campaign, who will they campaign to? Will they be people who can make an informed decision on what is actually the best option, or will it be friends, family and social media followers? Worse still, will it be people who have been encouraged into voting (read bribed)? Read More ...

The Number One Mistake in Gamification Design

Error 1536917247 The Number One Mistake in Gamification Design

Ok, so this is going to polarise you guys a little, but MY number one mistake in gamification design, as I personally see it…

Designing the solution that you want rather than what the client needs. Note I am saying what the client needs not what they want

When designing a solution, it is easy to get caught up in how cool and how fun it can be. Then you start to work on great designs that you love. You take them to the client and you start to explain why your idea and design is absolutely the best solution. Soon you are building your personal pet project, rather than actually solving the problems the client had. Read More ...

The “Little Piggy” Communications Test

Pig 1535532496 The 8220 Little Piggy 8221 Communications Test

Do you remember the old poem, “This Little Piggy”?

This Little Piggy poem

This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed at home,
This little piggy had roast beef,
This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy went…
“Wee wee wee” all the way home…

Well, this can hold one of the keys to good communications with users and clients…

When you communicate with someone, especially if you feel you are doing something that will help them – such as providing gamified solutions, you have to consider what they want and need.  You have to put yourself in their shoes and offer something in a way that resonates with them. Read More ...

My Mental Health and How Gamification Has Helped

Anxiety Spiral Header 2 My Mental Health and How Gamification Has Helped

It is mental health awareness week, so I felt this would be a good opportunity to share with you one nugget of life strategy that gamification helped me learn.

I have made no secret that I have suffered from anxiety and depression most of my life. These have, at times, crippled me in ways that those without the issues find hard to understand. The truth is that no matter what strategy you may think you have, the first step is always to accept help. Easier said than done, but it is essential. No one should or can go through it alone and come out the other side in one piece. Read More ...

What is Your Least Favorite Gamification Element?

Stuck in a rut What is Your Least Favorite Gamification Element

I often get asked what my favorite gamification element or elements are, but no one ever asks what ones I dislike!

So I thought I would ask you guys the question and offer my own answer.


That’s right, one of the mainstays of gamification, leaderboards are my least favorite element in gamification.

Don’t get me wrong, they have their place and when used well they can be a great asset to a gamified system. The problem is, they are so infrequently used well and normally are there for a “quick fix”. Read More ...