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1 November 2006
Galit Lieber
A computer with a rocket and a trophy flying out of it

The term Gamification was first used in England in 2004. The term is intended for use in mechanics and technical, design, humoristic principles 9among others) in the world of gaming in:

  • Websites and applications which are not games.

  • Performing tasks which might not be enjoyable, for example: to answer surveys, to shop on websites and read information.

We can use mechanics and principles from the world of gaming in order to improve user experience (the explicit and clear aspect) and actualize business objectives (the business-financial aspect, tacit to the user).

For example, using a score-keeping mechanism or virtual prizes in order for the product to serve as an enjoyable and even addictive game (using psychology and emotion). This adds relevance to the product, it is therefore learned, used for receiving information (behavior, for example), is purchased and marketed to others.

Examples of using Gamification in applications and websites:

Waze uses a score-keeping principle, LinkedIn features a bar which signifies your advancement in filling in your personal file, resort and travel websites use a similar bar in order to rate hotels.

Gamification has become a world-wide trend (there are even books and pamphlets with tips on the subject). It expresses creativity and has been found useful in different cases when connected to an objective, but has also been criticized:

  • Some say that the term is more of a buzzword which encompasses famously known (and not new and exciting) principles that are already implemented in many daily activities such as 'happy hours' and other client-trust activities.

  • Excessive use of gaming principles may harm the effectiveness (complexity causes comprehension difficulties) and the envelope/story beyond.

  • It is good for certain purposes but cannot be applied to every problem.

Gamification principals can be implemented in network folders and/or the organizational portal. Examples:

  • The home page features-

    - A bar which presents the pace in which the project is being managed or the representatives' monthly task is being performed (e.g. answering calls and sales).

    - Sales and service contests (with prizes) including surveys and answers to questions.

  • When the representative enters the information directory, he/she is required to read briefings and answer them correctly. The debriefs can include cartoons on the side/score-keeping/Q&As

  • Holding surveys which interest the users, e.g. social activities and holiday bonuses.

Before using Gamification, it is recommended to:

  • Formulate an objective: what do I want to achieve and what do I want the user to achieve? These purposes should be balanced, e.g. games-work.

  • Research the motivations for using the product: are they game-oriented?

  • Consider alternatives, such as: design and humor.

If we have decided to use Gamification principles, it is preferable to use them intelligently and measure success in long-run terms.


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