It seems as if everyone loves to play games on their computers or devices. The kids love Fortnite and their parents like Tetris and their grandparents are still enjoying Solitaire. Since games are so loved, why not add some gaming elements into your web design?
There are tedious or routine paths that can only be enhanced by adding a little fun to them. And engagement is the key to success on the web. The more your visitors linger, the more success all your web goals will have.
Gamification is the act of taking a process that already exists (e.g. filling out a form) and applying game mechanics to make it more engaging.
For example, gamifying the HR onboarding process can help companies improve the rate at which these tasks are completed.
To improve onboarding, consider gamifying the following behaviors:
· Reading about company policies
· Completing compliance training
· Filling out HR forms
· Setting up health insurance, 401(k), and retirement benefits.
Types of Games
Points: Uses positive reinforcement that allows website users to set goals, earn badges, and “level up” or gain some sort of elevated status.
Rules of Play: games typically have set rules of play, including fast feedback (a star for a correct answer).
Competition: Competition between other users or to get a personal high score, is also a common aspect of gamification.
Self-expression: Social aspects or collaboration could also be considered aspects of gamification; a message board, for example, could be gamified.
Quiz Mechanics: A quiz to figure out which of your products is right for the user. This can teach the user more about what you do.
Social Mechanics: A competition that displays rankings of different users so that more users complete reviews, order more, or come back to use your site or resource more often.
Problem Solving: You provide users the tools they need to solve a problem that you pose to them. With more information, users receive more content and more control of the process.
Accomplishment and Completion: You encourage users to complete a task that is already halfway done by dangling an accomplishment.
The Value of Gamification in Web Design
A gamified design has the power to drastically improve your product in the customers’ eyes. Even people who never played a single video game will be subconsciously attracted to the product design and structure.
The more interactive your design will be, the easier it would be to gain customer attention and lock it on your product. Time is money, right? The longer the customers stay on your platform, the more benefits you’ll reap.
The User Gets Control
When a visitor gets to your website, more often than not, they just want to get from point A to point B. Leading potential clients towards your desired goal is a part of the user journey.
Everyone wants to be the masters of their destiny. This means it’s important to make users feel like they’re in the driving seat. Always. This is the heart and soul of gamification.
Maps Help Users Understand Location and Direction
Once again, this is simple psychology. People like to know where they are going. They like to know where they are in the process. Otherwise, users remain in the dark and become increasingly wary.
Even something as simple as a progress bar can work as a map for your website visitors. Whatever it is that allows them to know where they are in the process of what they are doing is a useful tool. Your potential customers always will want to know how far they’ve gone and how far they’ve got to go. This way, you’ll break up the journey and make it feel more manageable.
Games Reinforce Good Behavior
In video games, when you finish a level, you receive a reward, a power-up or a new character, for instance. So, you keep doing it again and again. This pattern reinforces a habit of behavior.
Gamified websites do the same thing. Facebook is particularly good at doing this. It is fantastic at incorporating subtle gamification. For instance, when you post an image or status, you get rewarded with reactions (likes, wows, etc.). You get a psychological reward from Facebook. So, you repeat your actions.
Gaming Provides a Sensation of Achievement
If you can make your prospects feel like they have achieved something, they are going to return. Something like simple praise for a completed task helps create a milestone. We all understand real achievements, like “getting fit,” or learning a skill, take considerable time and effort. Thus, it’s important that you break the process down and create turn achievement itself into manageable steps and intervals. This keeps people coming back for more.
People Enjoy Setting Goals and Competing with Themselves
By nature, humans are competitive. Most people want to push themselves further and harder. By including ‘previous records’ and ‘personal bests’ to your site, you might persuade your audience to come back and try to improve. Show people their statistics, and they will try to beat it on almost any occasion.
Increased daily sessions mean customers will spend more time on your website page or application.
Some game elements have a positive side-effect called the network effect when a product gains value with every new user. Simply put, a leaderboard with just one user would not make much sense. Hence, gamification often has a “tribe element” to it since many games are played with friends.
These user connections will result in the network effect, motivating, and adding functionality and value to the product. As a result, if your “tribe” is with you while using a product, there is a greater chance that you will return.
This is why a bigger network of users reinforces gamification effects and, ultimately, contributes to retention rates, sales and other conversion KPIs.