Who Can Benefit From Gamification?

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Each week, DailyTekk connects you with leading experts on a given topic as part of our Understanding series. This week we are focusing on explaining Gamification. Yesterday we learned about successful gamification strategies and today you’ll learn who can benefit from gamification. Last week we focused on Big Data.


Jesse Schell: “It’s never a silver bullet. If you are serious about improving the motivational design of something you are in charge of, it’s as simple as asking, “Why do people like this? How could they like it more?” Often, simple changes go a long way. When a restaurant gives out a T-Shirt to anyone who can eat their Inferno Wing Platter, well, guess what? That’s gamification. It doesn’t have to be complicated.”

Gabe Zichermann: “Choosing a vendor is best in creating a gamification system because it enables you to scale and do it cheaply. You can avoid making the mistakes others have made – though it doesn’t help you necessarily improve the design. Certification through an Advanced Workshop is useful because you should have the necessary design know-how internally to support the system. In addition, some people who first come to us intending to create a design for a web or smartphone application realize they only needed to change they way they thought about a problem, and were able to construct a low-tech solution.”

Sebastian Deterding: “This depends entirely on the scope of the project, and whether gamification is an enhancement you add to a service or product, or the core product itself (think Nike Fuelband). If you have smart user experience designers in your team (not just visual designers), and give them the task of understanding what motivates your customers or employees, and how to design your system around that, and give them time for explorative prototyping, chances you do not need outer assistance. The core question is: Is the root cause of your current business problem lacking motivation, and is lacking motivation due to the activity in question being poorly designed (rather than, say, mobbing in the workplace, or a frustratingly unusable product)? If so, design inspired by games might be an approach worth trying out.”

Scott Dodson: “Nearly any company can benefit from gamification (done well). Clearly many consumer facing applications can benefit from increased or prolonged engagement; and enterprise can use motivational design internally to augment training, drive employee satisfaction, reduce churn, or tackle a host of other key business metrics. The way to do it well is to combine industry domain experts who know what matter to their constituents and what is culturally appropriate with experts in motivational design—and then to leverage or build the right technology to implement. Like any good product design, there’s also no substitute for real live users. Test early and often.”

Meet The Experts

  • Sebastian Deterding is a researcher and designer working on persuasive and gameful design, head of the Gamification Research Network and co-editor of “The Gameful World” (MIT Press, 2013). He lives online at codingconduct.cc.
  • Scott Dodson (@gamebiz) is a serial entrepreneur, UX consultant, and gamification guru. He is a Founder and CPO of Bobber Interactive, and a Professor of Game Design at Digipen.
  • Jesse Schell is the founder of Schell Games and has been developing games for more than 10 years.
  • Gabe Zichermann is an author, highly rated public speaker, entrepreneur and the chair of GSummit (SF, April 16-18, 2013) where top gamification experts across industries gather to share knowledge and insight about customer & employee engagement and loyalty.

Featured image via Playbasis; Gamification in 2013 and Beyond

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