Five tenets of gamification planning

We just presented at ASAE’s annual meeting on how incorporate game strategy to increase participation, loyalty, user generated content and interaction. Here are 5 tips to get started:

What is your objective?

  • How can members leverage their industry expertise?
  • Are you trying to induce a certain behavior?
  • Or are you hoping to collect certain data on your participants?

Also consider your rewards system: What’s in it for them? Recognition, certification credits and special discounts are often great motivators.

Are your game mechanics simple?

Gamification mechanics should be easy to understand: short and specific, with one kind of action leading to one kind of outcome. If your users don’t know which of their actions are earning points or new badges, there’s no motivation to earn more. With a clear gameplay outline and focus on what you want to accomplish with your game, you’ll also have a better grasp of what type of incentives and awards best resonate with participants.

What kind of demographic are you hoping to engage?

Millennials are “digital natives” who have been playing video games since childhood, but did you know that that middle-aged women are more prone to download and participate in mobile games?

  • Identify what best resonates your audience
  • What metrics will appeal to them the most?
  • What are the top ways they currently interact with your association?
  • What are the most important engagements with your association that are currently lacking?​

Use these details to make decisions about your game design. Include community and social elements to grab their interest and maximize involvement.

Is your game driving behavioral changes?

Make sure you’re not just creating engagement, but also enhancing the whole user experience to drive positive behavioral changes in users, motivate them to interact more with your content, and take specific actions desired. Gamification should help your users to interact X number of times more than they would in a non-gamified system. Test and iterate to ensure success.

What will you do to educate members about the game?

Your game design should be designed for engaging users throughout the user journey funnel: where they are, what they will want to achieve next, and so on. At the beginning, offering simple quests with a liberal point system (”Like” or “Share” a piece of content) and give them welcome points when they come on board Once the user is at the top, what’s next? It may seem counter intuitive, but give fewer rewards to users who are more active and more rewards to users who are less active.

Got some great gamification tips and success stories? Share a comment!

Layla Masri

About Layla Masri

Layla is a co-founder of Bean Creative. She leverages her ad agency background and 15-plus years as a marketing and web copywriter to maximize interactive impact for strategic planning, usability/accessibility, and digital promotion.
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