Micorsoft saw in the first version of Ribbon Hero that users that played two challenges, almost always subsequently played 10 or more.
In version II they added colorful engaging levels. The challenge idea was successful but the game itself wasn’t fun enough. Not enough people were playing the requisite two challenges. So they added a narrative. Clippy, yes, a paper clip, is the main character.
The story goes that Clippy is traveling though time in a time machine. Two of the boards include the Middle Ages and Knights vs. Dragons
They also added sparkles – fun animation – in one scene, for example a spaceship is abducting a cow.
The feedback was powerful as were the reviews. Microsoft took a much bigger bet on games with Ribbon Hero II than Ribbon Hero. Pushing the envelope while maintaining their product goal.
The number of users completing two challenges has doubled. The game engages users longer. The value users see in playing Ribbon Hero II is high, for example, 80% agree that it’s a great way to get familiar with the program and 70% said they would suggest it to a friend.
Faulkner’s takeaway from the Gamification experience was as follows:
1. Gather expertise.
2. Spend time brainstorming.
3. Test everything with users! It’s hard to tell what is fun.
4. But once you know what it is, converge on what is fun.
5. Leave time for polishing.
6. Learn from version 1 and do it better in version 2.
FYI: Ribbon Hero and Ribbon Hero II only work on PCs for now.