As of 2023, there were approximately 1,92 billion active mobile gamers globally, as per Statista. Gaming applications account for 21.5% of all applications, while business apps account for only 10%. Therefore, it really is no wonder why numerous applications from other sectors are proactively copying game design aspects for their marketing methods, such as badges, prizes, points, leaderboards, virtual money, ranks, and so on. It’s imperative to evaluate your success and enhance your channel marketing to keep on schedule with your marketing initiatives and do not forget to use the right gamification concepts.
What is Gamification?
Many people conflate the concepts of gamification and game design, but this is false, as in the sense of design these two notions are practically unrelated. Gamification UX design is actually a method for designers to embed gamification features and mechanisms into non-gaming environments, for example, mobile apps or websites. The implementation of gameplay elements helps improve the interaction with the user and consequently the engagement with the product or utility. In this way, a designer could include a playful feature such as stickers and badges or a challenge to get users to engage and react better to the site or mobile app. In a non-gaming setting, using game-like engagements can assist users to become more enthusiastic and involved. These components might include a specific grind to check in on the website or app and be rewarded. Users are motivated by such factors, and their behavior as “players” is influenced to complete the desired activities.
The technique of gamification in UX design combines a user-centric attitude with sophisticated design, to eliminate destructive patterns. As a result, UX designers are able to implant behaviors that contribute to the betterment of end-users. Moreover, gamification isn’t really a one-size-fits-all or binary idea; it may be implemented in a variety of ways, based on the demands of the user and the product. Moreover, gamification is a vital tool that may increase user engagement and satisfaction, rather than the primary goal of UX design.
Types of Game Mechanics for UX Improvement
Gamification seems to be a tricky design method that entails combining various game components with interactive UI features. It is essential to be aware that this method is not aimed at transforming products or services in a game, rather giving the result a game-like feeling of excitement. Below are some of the UX gamification examples that have been utilized to improve UX design:
Human behavior is built in such a way that it always forces us to accept challenges and this proves that challenges add a natural attractiveness to any action or activity that people attempt. In a nutshell, one of the most engaging game elements is the use of a challenge in sites or smartphone apps. Furthermore, a challenge encourages end-users to execute the desired action, making it an efficient tool for boosting UX. The designer may, nevertheless, add certain incentives to boost the challenge’s performance and inspire participants.
A great case in point is Habitica, a workflow productivity supplement that offers users a variety of tasks that enable them to challenge each other. Thus, using the app becomes interesting and engaging, allowing users to simply gamify their lives.
Stickers and Badges
Another great way to encourage user engagement is through stickers and badges. When users accomplish a series of tasks or earn a particular amount of points, they can be awarded stickers and badges. Virtual prizes are common in video games, so most people are familiar with them.
Such awards may be constructed in a variety of ways, allowing for a range of interesting freedom. Stickers become more valued because they have been popular for a long time. Any of these virtual prizes, on the other hand, could be a powerful motivational factor for the customer.
As an example, Duolingo, a well-known language learning solution, practices using badges to treat users after they complete a certain amount of skills, introducing a certain number of lingots, and following their friends.
The next mode of gamification design points. Numerous videogames employ a point system for determining how successful players are in overcoming barriers. A product may include the same principle with gamification, which serves both stakeholders and users. Subscribers may track how much time they spend on the application or website, while stakeholders can notice how far they’ve come. It’s a better idea to score based on the number of video views or marks received.
For instance, when participants complete lessons on Codecademy Go, an online service where they may master coding and technology engineering, they are awarded points.
It becomes part of the human condition to want to be a leader in every situation. For people who participate in the contest, leaderboards render chores more engaging. Using a mechanism that ranks visitors according to how many badges they have may increase confidence and motivation users to learn extra around an online platform. Leaderboards, on the other hand, might have a bad effect in some circumstances since visitors may become demotivated by trying to compare themselves to others with higher rankings. This implies that the game element must be applied carefully in order to optimize the user experience.
This type of gamification UX design seeks to make interacting with the item more straightforward and feasible. The consumer may experience as if he or she is embarking on a personal adventure with the product. As an illustration, upon that onboarding page where the user begins, an introduction to the functionality may be provided so that users are not frightened to make an error. Whenever an adventure proceeds, it is suggested that you apply the “scaffolding” strategy. It refers to gradually revealing functionality as clients get far more familiarity with the service. People may avoid mistakes with this method, and the item is more enjoyable to use. The development component can also be used to enhance the journey aspect. We can motivate users to keep their journey by giving data about their achievements.
Incorporating a feature that requires players to complete a job within a specified amount of time increases game enjoyment. A similar strategy may be used in a gamification product by requiring users to accomplish a job in less than a day. Users are motivated to a certain part by the limits, which force them to act swiftly and respond quickly.
How To Use Gamification In UX Design
- Provide your user with a task to complete.
Whether you want to keep your user involved, give people a goal to work for. One may instill this competitive spirit in your users by requiring them to finish segments or levels in order to progress. Allowing business users a tool to monitor their progression while measuring their performance is a good idea. Channel your inner users while creating your gamification components. In the Starbucksoffer, for example, the user has to pass all levels in order to achieve Gold Member status.
2. Increase the value of your app or website by including incentives
When we are rewarded, our brain releases dopamine. Including a bonus system in your UX may be a great strategy for enhancing it. After completing a task, if your user feels rewarded for their efforts, they may be more motivated to put up more work and time, boosting their connection with your service. Intangible incentives on a website or app might be cash, badges, or points. Some programs, such as Pocket Points, ultimately convert certain incentives into cash.
3. Incorporate a small amount of positive rivalry.
When it comes to the gamification UX concept, an additional way to think about it is along with some fierce rivalry for your consumers. This could be a valuable source of incentive based on your potential customer and their passion for the game. As nothing more than a reason, a leaderboard might be another gamification aspect to include in your UX. Users may see how they relate to others on a scoreboard, thus encouraging rivalry and increasing user experience. Using a leaderboard or further kinds of competitiveness might give additional opportunities for your users to track their job completion and performance. The slight healthy rivalry might be your prerequisite for successful gamification if you want to increase user experience.
Origins of Gamification and UX
Even though modern games exhibit little similarity to their historical forerunners, humans have been playing games for millennia. Senet, the earliest game known to humankind, was developed approximately 3500 BCE in Egyptian Civilization, while some activities like Go, a strategic game created roughly two thousand years ago in China, are being played today.
Digital computer games, which first appeared in the 1970s and 1980s, took multiple elements from original board games while also introducing countless new ones. We don’t just play games anymore; we’re players. Gaming, apart from our forefathers, isn’t longer a small-group hobby but a worldwide phenomenon that has generated entire sectors, such as the burgeoning eSports industry.
Several of the key causes of the increase in prominence of computer games and playing in contemporary society is the intelligent use of intense affective triggers throughout many things to keep players interested. In other words, they have the potential to be extremely addictive. Whereas this component of video gaming has long been a point of anxiety for worried parents, it has also opened new avenues for advertisers and product designers. Many applications and companies today, outside of the realm of computer games, rely on such addictive properties to maintain us hooked.
Gamification, or the technique of adding aspects also seen in computer games into technologies and solutions to enhance retention, is a tremendously helpful instrument for UX professionals. Yet, if designed incorrectly, it may annoy our consumers, divert attention away from our products’ primary benefits, and even foster possibly harmful urges.
Why Use Gamification in UX?
Various forms of gamification enable us to generate unique sensations and elicit a certain range of emotions in the audience. Gamification can contribute positively to the:
- Preservation of information
- Brand loyalty and engagement
- Management of Human Resources
Gamification allows designers to manipulate feelings and emotions, resulting in a solution that is unique and memorable. Consider it from the empathetic UX standpoint. Gamification enables users to share emotional responses, which implies your product has a better success rate since it understands the user’s reaction. It does not go ignored, but it is swiftly ignored. It becomes noteworthy and distinctive.
Gamification in UX at Dropbox
Dropbox understands how aggravating it may be for consumers to have to put in extra mental work to master a new format. Hence reflects its user-friendly onboarding process, which benefits beginners in a variety of ways:
- The put in place that appears when you mouse across each column outlines the actions required to complete each activity.
- The layout is controlled by the “Hide the Get Started tab” setting on the lower left side. This acknowledges that not everyone enjoys playing, and management in and of itself fosters participation.
- This same ‘Upgrade’ alternative in the upper right indicates it is positive and thus will bonus the consumer by using the flag icon.
Dropbox provides customers with the same data storage for uploading as they installed Dropbox automatically for the first time.
Gamification in UX at Trello
The majority of to-do list software does not monitor progress or provide a feeling of success. More and more jobs that accumulate, less and less probable they are to be completed. Trello mixes the Kanban technique with a dichotomous “done” or “not done” approach, progressing apparent and distinguishing tasks that have been begun of those that haven’t yet. Because a binary to-do checklist need not display them, it’s vital in conquering the far more tough barrier of all: getting started on a chore. Trying to drag and slide tiles between piles feels natural and give the impression that you’re truly doing something. Especially crucially, it maintains a pile of “done” notes that color-code red for due tasks and green for completed tasks, signaling accomplishments. It’s possible that shifting and organizing them will build a new habit that drives you to accomplish better. It doesn’t need scores, badges, or a scoreboard; the inherent joy of completing a task is enough. Trello’s hidden motivating arsenal is allowing customers to see what they’ve accomplished rather than just the activities that need to be completed.
Gamification in UX at Sublime Text
Sublime Text is a great case of gamification: instead of turning anything into a game, it seeks to integrate motivational components from gaming into a non-game-like context, including a text editor for programming. Sublime Text seems to be more intriguing because of its underlying duality. It provides useful capabilities for improving efficiency for average users even as maintaining the user interface is relatively basic for newcomers. Everyone could utilize it to its maximum potential right away, so they must actually uncover these buttons, as most are hidden in panels and do not provide any explanation. Keep track of the many options you’ve chosen, as well as the plugins and modifications you’ve applied. With more experience with the tool, you’ll be able to find better techniques. The habit cycle enhances work efficiency even while making the experience very addicting. Sublime Text’s unique driving power is its feeling of excitement and control. It’s a basic text editor that rewards users with platform expertise simply by using it and finding efficient Chocolate eggs.
Types of Game Mechanics for UX Improvement
- Help the users think they’re clever.
By reducing impediments and hurdles, you can improve the user’s current duties. After guiding them by hand on the first occasion, make them use it on their own. Reduce congrats to a minimum level and prevent a condescending attitude.
- Display the user’s achievements.
Display your accomplishments in a logical, impartial manner. Delicately persuade them of their beginning place.
- Systems flow is crucial.
Remove any distractions. Allow consumers to engross themselves in an activity. Provide specific input on the existing situation. Allow users to forget their perception of time if at all feasible. Time flies when you’re motivated.
- Don’t make gamification a must.
Actual games remain enjoyable since people want to play them, rather than as they have to. The above gap can be the key differentiator. Use gamification to introduce people to relevant and entertaining material, identify yourself to others, establish and foster connections, empower your business to inner, and pass the message regarding our favorite brands and ideas.
Finally, gamification has the potential to greatly boost user satisfaction and participation with any business. However, it is critical to recognize how gamification must be done correctly in order to achieve the intended effects. Gamification in UX design is a winning tactic that is quickly gaining traction, and it has the potential to become the predominant model in the near future.
At inVerita we are always open and eager to innovate and, most fundamentally, genuinely listen to the needs of your business and users. Feel free to contact us if you want to add some engaging experience to your application.