Gamification and games are often considered to be the cool kid on the block when implementing new solutions or something for younger audiences. I often question clients about what drove them to choose game elements as a way of engaging their target audience. So here are my top 5 suggested questions that you should answer before even embarking on a gamification project:
- Why do you think gamification will work for this project?
Often when I ask this, I receive very vague answers. Thinking that everyone else is doing it, so it must be good or jumping on the popular bandwagon is not really compelling. The answer to this question will reveal if you have really thought this through and maybe even found evidence of other organisations in this field finding it helpful.
2. How will you know your project is successful
I like to start with the end in mind. It makes it a lot easier to work towards a tangible goal with success measures in place, rather than a general feeling. A general feeling is usually not enough in most business projects. I would even go as far as making a business case for your gamification project.
3. What apps and games is your target audience used to using?
To identify the type of gamification your target audience is likely to engage with is finding out what they already use and play. In some organisations, this is clearly talked about and people actively share apps and games. Yet in other companies, it may still be a mystery. If your target audience is largely female, games are often seen as a guilty pleasure and hence rarely discussed, which means it will need a safe environment for them to share this. It doesn’t mean they aren’t competitive.
4. What dynamic do you want to create as a result of gamification?
A dynamic is typically a side effect of a game mechanic. For example, the game mechanic of a leaderboard introduces competition, peer to peer feedback introduces collaboration and potentially judgement. These are just a few small examples, but knowing your intended outcome based on the people that you want to play is important.
5. What are the constraints for the project?
All projects have time and budget constraints, which are things to know about and share with the providers you choose. On top of that, you may have other constraints such as internal practices for example in a factory not everyone uses a computer or app, how will digital gamification work in this setting? You may have famous CEO’s that may or may not want their name attached or mentioned in a game setting. Branding and corporate communications may have messaging constrictions. The systems that you are using may need to give data and receive data to the gamified system.
In my view considering these 5 questions and their answers carefully, will put you in a great position to speak to gamification solution providers. It shows you have done your research and it means the first conversations can immediately be more meaningful and give you a better indicator if the solution provider can deliver your result. If you need help answering the questions, our most appropriate solution is a strategy call.