Why does Gamification Fail?

A question I get asked a lot is, “Why does gamification fail?”. Gartner said that by 2014, 80% of gamified systems will fail due to poor design. My question is, what is poor design? I had thought that it was really just implementing “thin layer” points, badges and leader boards to a system that was already not working. Whilst that is true, it actually misses out on some important extra factors. So, with that in mind, here are some reasons that I feel will contribute to gamification not working. Sticking Plasters Of course I have to start with thin layer gamification. I’ve said it many times, you can’t polish a turd. If you stick a thin layer of gamification on a broken system, it will have no long term effect. If your expenses system is so hard to use that people are often late, or don’t bother using it – consider why before you consider gamification. Is it because you need 40 video tutorials to understand how it works? If that is the case, the system... Read the full article...

More on Gamification and Careers

Extrinsic Rewards and the User Journey A couple of small bits this week whilst I pull together more substantial work (I'm not a machine!!) First a small revisit of my Flow and User Journey work. In various conversations I have had about the use of rewards in a gamified systems the general question is always "do you need rewards at all". My answer is that it can't hurt if it is done properly.  One thing that occurred is that during the on-boarding phase and into the habit forming phase of a user journey, rewards can play a key part.Charles Duhigg presents the idea that habits are formed when three key things are put together. Cue, Routine and Reward. Taken from http://charlesduhigg.com/how-habits-work/ Check out his pages for more info, I won't go into that now. The point here is that during the habit forming phase of the user journey, rewards can play a part. Once you head in to the mastery phase, rewards needs to give way to more intrinsic forms of motivation (remember RAMP?... Read the full article...

The gamification of a career

A fair few of my recent posts have revolved around how we can use ideas from games / gamification to improve certain aspects of an employee’s “journey” through their career. I thought it may be time to pull it all together in a single coherent (I hope) post! It makes sense to start with an employee’s first days, usually an induction process of some type. Rather than the standard two or three days of death by PowerPoint, how about this; They start with a simple half day induction, preferably done face to face with a group of other newbies. Here they are told the basic essentials for them to actually get into an office, cover any legal requirements and meet people they may be working with in the future. After this, they are given the essential kit to get them going, probably a Smartphone and laptop. The next step is to get them settled into their main place of work and get them logged into your Kahn Academy style social gamified learning environment (SGLE). Here they... Read the full article...

Feedback Loops, Gamification and Employee Motivation

To anyone involved in game design, feedback loops will be a well known concept. To those in gamification, they are often talked about, but not everyone will know what they actually are and how they can be used. Feedback loops come in two main flavors; positive feedback loops and negative feedback loops. Which ever you are looking at they are constructed in a similar way, with two or more phases. User performs an action Something happens User experience is modified Repeat Basic Feedback Loop, will have 2 or more steps A positive feedback loop amplifies something, whereas a negative feedback loop will reduce something. Let's take make up a game. It is a multiplayer shooting game and it employs powerups and health packs (old school here). Consistent kills gives the player certain experience points that lead to ability boosts (like speed or strength). These boosts lead to the player being able to get more kills, leading to more points and yet more boosts. Read the full article...

Mario as a Metaphor for your Career

When you consider your career, unless you are a games developer, I am pretty sure Mario does not enter your thoughts all that much. However, this game (as with almost all other games really) can teach us a lot about how we can plan our careers and how businesses really need to reconsider how they handle the careers of its employees.  This is not so much gamification as it is learning from games. Games offer players a lot fo different mechanisms to understand where they are in the game, where they are going and how they are doing. All of this information is available at a glance, never more than one button press away if it is not on-screen already. Let's take a look at just a few elements of New Super Mario on the Wii U. Other than your lives and the  number of power ups and coins, you have so much available on the screen at any one time that gives you both immediate and long-term information and feedback. The score is instant feedback on your overall progress... Read the full article...

Flow, Player Journey and Employee Satisfaction

What follows is an exploration of what happens when you start to map player journeys in games onto Flow theory and then try to bring that into the workplace. Just for fun! It was inspired by Mr Scott Golas after seeing last weeks post on relatedness. It may or may not have any worth, but it has been fun to develop. Click images to see the bigger versions or you can see the presentation at SlideShare What is Flow and what is the Player Journey? Mihayi Csikszentmihalyi suggested the concept after seeing that under certain conditions people’s experiences became optimal. This is to say that everything around them was lost as they concentrated on the job at hand. This can be seen in many artists who just “get into the grove” as they work. Time stops, nothing else matters and when they finally come out of it, they have no concept of how long they have been working. He identified some key factors that could lead to such a phenomenon. Clear goals and progress Constant... Read the full article...