Why Gamification Design Should be Individual-Focused

Why Gamification Design Should be Individual-Focused

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Understanding Gamification’s Capabilities is Key

While there are many benefits to gamification and many businesses are using this practice to make their website more engaging, the methods used by practicing businesses could often be more effective. Many businesses who integrate game dynamics within their company are often too focused on a corporate level, rather than the gamification of individuals. Because people play games for their own enjoyment, gamification that is too general is often ineffective due to its irrelevance to customers or employees.

recent article by the IT specialist website Lifehacker Australia describes the most common pitfall of gamification; businesses often assume that gamification will instantly improve their business as if it’s a magic elixir. The article explains that while gamification can be very effective, it must be integrated in the right way, typically with a focus on the individual:

“The big failing? Most projects focus too hard on achieving a specific corporate goal and neglect the objectives of the actual players, whether those are staff or customers. People don’t play games to reward others; they play for their own enjoyment. If you want a gamification project to succeed, you have to recognize that. This is why gamification by individuals often works better than gamification at a corporate level.”

Because of its potential and stories of success, businesses often implement gamification without fully understanding its purpose. While gamification is not a source of magic that will instantly make boring things fun, it can help increase people’s motivation, whether they are employees working for a company or customers interacting with the company.

Without an understanding of their ultimate goal and why are they integrating it, gamification may be ineffective or even ignored. However, if businesses have a clearly defined goal and understand that they are trying to increase the motivation of either employees or customers, gamification can have a huge impact on a company. As often with businesses, it’s not about buying new services or holding contests for employees, but rather connecting with them and understanding their needs so that they work more willingly and efficiently.

Have you ever experienced any misguided gamification attempts? Sound off in the comments!

Flickr Image by .patricio

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