Octalysis Group is hiring – The 2017 Octalysis Challenge!

Search for the best Gamification Designer

My company The Octalysis Group is recruiting a new part-time or full-time (remote) Trainee to help our efforts in designing engaging gamified solutions for clients around the world.

For that we launched the Octalysis Design Challenge 2017.

What you get as the top gamification designer

– the opportunity to work with the world’s leading experts in Gamification and Behavioral Design
– a great team with fun people, where only merit counts
– full transparency and full autonomy
– work from wherever you are in the world
– a full time position with a base pay and excellent bonus prospects (semi part-time openings available as well)

How to apply for the Challenge?

The challenge is to create a better and more engaging experience for the successful Habitica app using the Octalysis Framework.

Click on this link for instructions

A selected few will become finalists and present their work to me.

The good thing: every submission that passes our scrutiny will also get a Level 1 Octalysis Certificate!

Please send your Challenge Submissions to joris [at] octalysisgroup [period] com
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: 3 MARCH 201

Gamifying Company Politics: Chou’s Corporate Player Types

Corporate Gamification Player TypesThe Corporate Environment is a Terrible Game

This post is a little different to what I usually write. It is not about my Octalysis Framework (but there are some core foundational principles derived from it), but rather on my observations after working with a significant amount of corporate companies.

Most employees dislike the politics and culture within their corporate environment for a multitude of reasons.

  • Your coworkers and allies are also your competitors.
  • You don’t know who is actually playing nice or pretending to play nice.
  • Sucking up seems to be more important than doing good work.
  • When working between departments, people would spend an hour explaining why they shouldn’t do something that would take 15 minutes.
  • People fight to claim credit and put the blame on others.

This has demoralized the motivation of many employees, which results in low productivity, bad-mouthing the company after work, and high turnover rate.

Of course, being a manager is extremely difficult too. You have to deal with this most fuzzy thing called human emotions. It’s confusing and irrational. Many of the smartest people in the world with ridiculous IQs were terrible at  figuring out human feelings.

I remember many years ago, when my friends first entered the workforce, they would complain how their bosses are incompetent idiots that didn’t understand the business at all. However, I’m almost 100% certain that, besides a few exceptions, now that these friends are managers themselves, people under them are calling them incompetent idiots.

Clearly, it is very difficult being a good manager.

Based on my observations, I’ve created a quick player type matrix for the corporate environment so managers would have a strategy guide to follow. Keep in mind, this is not meant to be some great gamified player type theory that I spent years perfecting. There are many others like Richard Bartle and Andrzej Marczewski who have more robust gamified player type concepts that I highly recommend.

Gamifying Company Politics: Chou’s Corporate Player Types

Corporate Gamification Player Types.001

The key principle in my Corporate Player Types, is that I divide all employees into two characteristics: performance, and politics.

Performance simply means how well the employee can carry out their responsibilities. This factors in work ethics but is focused on end deliverables. If an employee works hard but cannot produce good work, then performance is low. However, this should NOT factor “business impact,” simply because business impact is a result of having both performance and political skills.

Politics means how good (or proactive) the employee is at making friends within the organization. These are people who regularly say nice things to others, ask coworkers out for lunch, and proactively try to impress their superiors. They also tend to make something harsh sound more pleasant to the ear, even if it means sugarcoating the information a little bit, or having slight exaggeration or omission. They aren’t “liars” in most socially acceptable standards, but they are very driven by extrinsic goals and therefore pick what they say carefully and strategically.

Any 2×2 matrix divides people into four different categories: Low Performance and Low Politics, High Performance but Low Politics, High Politics but Low Performance, and High Performance and High Politics.

Corporate Gamification Player Types

Gamified Player Type: Survivors

For the Low Performance and Low Politics quadrant, I call them “Survivors.” Survivors are there simply to collect a paycheck (Core Drive 4) and not get fired (Core Drive 8). As a result, they usually just work hard enough to collect their paychecks and not get fired, and then they stop exerting effort.

Survivors are not necessarily dumber or less efficient at what they do. More often than they are just not motivated or incentivized to do good work. Survivors often like to say things like, “Why should I do this? I won’t get paid more to do it.” or “Last year I did way more work but I didn’t get a bonus. There’s no point.”

Gamified Player Type: Performers

For the High Performance but Low Politics quadrant, I call them “Performers.” Performers are people who do great work and finish their deliverables in efficient and reliable manners. They are often the people that solve problems that no one else on the team can solve. However, they have a natural dislike (or ignorance) towards corporate politics, and therefore never spend the time to make friends or work on other peoples’ feelings and motivations.

Performers also don’t suck up to their bosses and would do career suicide moves like telling their VP, “I can’t go to your dinner party because I need to think about how to execute on the plan next week.” Performers usually dislikes those who are good at politics, thinking them as “phony” and “insincere.” They inherently believe that, “As long as I do a good job, I will be given my fair reward. That will show those fancy-mouth ass-kissers.”

Gamified Player Type: Politicians

Continue reading Gamifying Company Politics: Chou’s Corporate Player Types

[Infograph] Creating engaging photos on Facebook

Engaging Photos on Facebook

[Infograph] Creating engaging photos on Facebook

Many businesses turn to Facebook as a means to attract attention to their products or services. What many people don’t realize is that they are more than likely making one very common mistake that is actually a detriment to these very goals.

Keeping in mind that people are drawn to visually pleasing images, the one thing that will make people click away from (or not click at all!) your page is posting images (or links, videos, etc.) that are blurry or grainy. Perhaps you think that since you invested in a high quality camera, your images should be more than sufficient. More than likely, however, you are making this very common mistake: you images are not correctly sized.

Indeed, if you ignore Facebook’s recommended dimensions when posting images, links or videos, your content may be pixelated or cut off. Here is how to avoid these pitfalls.

Facebook Profile and Cover Photos

Let’s start with the Facebook profile photo and cover photo, since these are arguably the bread and butter of Facebook. Facebook photos should be sized at 180x180px while cover photos should be 828x315px. What about images, links or videos, you ask? Indeed, these have their own set of recommended dimensions, which should be 1200x630px, 1200x627px and 1200x675px respectively.

Other Dimensions on Facebook

The dimensions for posts and ad dimensions will differ yet again depending upon the nature of the content. Images should be 1200x900px while links and videos should be 1200x628px and 1200x675px respectively.

Ensure that your text is not over 20% and that your videos do not exceed 4 GB. Thumbnails also differ in size. For page post images and links, thumbnails should be 254x133px. Thumbnails for page post videos should be 254x143px. Lastly, there is a set of dimensions that govern page post events or page post like ads. Events should be 1200x44px while event responses should be 1920x1080px.

FINALLY!! Beginner’s Guide to Gamification (22 of 90): Onboarding Phase of Player’s Journey

Onboarding Phase of Player’s Journey

Long overdue, but not forgotten. Here is the 22nd installment of the iconic Beginner’s Guide to Gamification! It was delayed because of my focus on Octalysis Prime, but now I am back. Now that I got Final Cut Pro for OP, I can also input multiple subtitles on a screen, so you get to see when I recorded each scene 🙂

Announcement for Octalysis Prime Pre-Island

As you know, Octalysis Prime is the Gamified Learning Journey where people can create Life-Long Transformation via Behavioral Design. We are still working super hard on creating the gamified platform, but we have released the Octalysis Prime “Pre-Island” experience where members get access to all the content and the community prior to the release of the gamified platform.

I am currently working my life away and creating 3-7 videos every single week to fill the experience up with content and transformational knowledge. Right now we have a special challenge, where if you answer 3 Octalysis-related questions correctly, you can get the first month of OP for just $1.

Look forward to seeing you in Octalysis Prime!!

Chapter-by-Chapter Takeaways of Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive

Gamification Book

Gamification and Persuasion

Gamification is about understanding human motivation and engagement, and therefore a big part of it is psychological and behavioral studies. So on top of the countless tiring hours of playing games to…understand why they are fun, I read the book Titled Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Robert Cialdini (an expert in many Black Hat Core Drives in my Octalysis Framework) to understand subtle human drives better. I thought it was one of the better books out there written on the topic, so this month I dug it out again and decided to review it another time.

Since my blog is primarily about sharing the knowledge I acquire, I have decided to share a chapter-by-chapter takeaway of the book. Below I have tried to summarize the point of each chapter into 1-3 sentences. It mostly covers the end conclusion, but does not include as much support/examples to necessarily be convincing to you. If you want to dig deeper into the data of the points below, I encourage you to check out the book yourself. I also attached at the end of each chapter the primary Core Drive that it appeals to in Octalysis.

Chapter 1: Inconveniencing people can improve your results. This is because people perceive your demand as higher when they have to work harder to work with you. Sometimes “perceived inconvenience” requires no change on the actual interaction but is useful. “Call now. Operators are waiting.” is WAY less effective than, “If operators are busy, please try again.” (Core Drives 6)

Chapter 2: Mention how other people that are SIMILAR made the choice that you are pushing. “Customers who stayed at this room generally are neater.” “Oh! Many of our best customers go to Cornell!” (Core Drive 1)

Chapter 3: Don’t push for “others behave badly. You should be special and do better.” Usually that makes people feel like doing badly is the norm, and makes them want to do bad too. “80% of the people litter. You should take care of your planet” = bad. (Core Drive 5)

Chapter 4: Make the “magnetic middle” very high and obvious. Attach emotional messages like smiley faces when people are doing well and above the average. (Core Drive 2)

Chapter 5: Providing less choices to your customers can 10x your sales conversions. Avoid decision paralysis.  The exception is when customers 1. Enjoy the picking experience (shopping for ice-cream) or 2. Already know what they want and are just looking for places that have it. (Core Drive 8)

Chapter 6: If you are giving away something for free, ALWAYS state the actual value to avoid it being devalued. (Core Drive 4)

Chapter 7: Having a superior, more expensive product will help sales of the original, lower quality product. Make sure you always want the one you plan to sell as the middle-ground. (Core Drive 4)

Chapter 8: A message of fear is very effective , but ONLY when there’s a clear call to action attached. Fear itself causes people to block it out because they are uncomfortable. (Core Drive 8)

Chapter 9: Doing favors that have no direct benefit make people feel obliged to reciprocate later on. This is like how Zappos does business, as well as Gary Vaynerchuk’s Thank-You Economy. (Core Drive 5)

Chapter 10: If you put a post-it note on your messages, letters, surveys, you will yield MUCH better and faster results. Of course, this is most effective when it has your handwriting, signature, and “Thank you,” but surprisingly, just having a post-it note without anything on it is still more effective than a piece of paper with typed “thank you” messages attached. Use post-it notes when you want people to respond positively! (Core Drive 7)

Continue reading Chapter-by-Chapter Takeaways of Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive