When designed correctly, gamification has proven to be very successful in engaging people and motivating them to change behaviours, develop skills or solve problems. Leveraging some of the features used in real games, gamification can turn many other types of activities into games.
Gamification is currently being applied to customer engagement, employee performance, training and education, innovation management, personal development, sustainability, health and wellness – and the list continues to grow. Nike built the Nike+ platform to engage fitness enthusiasts to take their workouts to the next level. Khan Academy uses gamification to enhance the learning experience for students. Quirky uses gamification to crowdsource ideas from inventors for product development. These bright spots in gamification are both inspirational and instructional. However, the current hype around gamification disguises the reality of early enterprise implementation.
Gamification is near the peak of Gartner Hype Cycles and like most new trends and technologies, the initial hype surrounding the trend creates unrealistic expectations for success and many poor implementations follow. Like any new trend, gamification will move through the hype cycle from the peak of inflated expectations into the trough of disillusionment.
While we are positive on the longer term impact of gamification, we are less positive in the short/immediate term. We predict that by 2014, 80 percent of current gamified applications will fail to meet business objectives, primarily due to poor design. This design includes defining business objectives as well as application definition, deployment and adoption. In the longer term, as design practices improve and organizations focus on defining clear business objectives, gamification will have a significant business impact and become an important means for organizations to engage audiences at a deeper level.
As organizations become more focused on business objectives, gamification can help make the workplace more engaging and productive because it changes the rules of engagement and inspires employees to change behaviors as a result. Accordingly, by 2015, 40 percent of Global 1000 organizations will use gamification as the primary mechanism to transform business operations.
To achieve the most success, early adopters of gamification must consider the following points before embarking on the journey:
Do Not Confuse Activity with Success – The hype that currently surrounds gamification is deafening and the press is full of stories of companies that are leveraging this trend. Careful examination shows that many of the leading edge companies leveraging gamification today are willing to describe the solutions they are implementing but are less willing to describe the business results they have achieved. Clearly there have been quantified successes, but there are far more narratives that simply describe what has been done. Seek out examples of companies that have achieved their business objectives.
Think of the Audience as Players not Puppets – Many companies have begun to believe that people will readily do their bidding by simply slapping some meaningless badges, points and leaderboards onto their websites. For example, in mid-2011 Google introduced Google News Badges which awarded badges to readers of Google News that showed what type of news they were reading in politics or sports, etc. But Google has recently withdrawn Google News Badges as part of its ‘spring cleaning’ efforts. The target audience must be engaged with meaningful incentives.
Clearly Identify the Business Objectives – Hype is driving many organizations to explore opportunities to leverage gamification. Many of our client conversations start with the question, “How can we leverage gamification in the organization?” While opportunity identification is not inherently wrong, companies must avoid turning gamification into a solution looking for a problem to solve. To guard against this, when an opportunity to leverage gamification is identified, what must follow is a statement of clearly defined business objectives and a critical analysis of the suitability of gamification to achieve those business objectives.
Design for Player-Centricity – Leaders in gamification such as Nike, Quirky and Khan Academy share some design characteristics, most notably player-centric design. In each of these cases, the key design point is to motivate the players to achieve their goals. The mistake many companies make is to identify the business objectives without clearly identifying the player objectives. The sweet spot for gamification objectives is where the business objectives and player objectives overlap. Gamified applications must be designed to motivate players to achieve their goals. To achieve success for companies starting in gamification, the first design point is to motivate players to achieve their goals – and those goals should overlap with the business goals.
For more information about GAMIFICATION, contact us now: www.eFOURlearning.com
Originally posted; By Brian Burke