Hello, fellow gamification enthusiasts! Today, I want to discuss an essential game design technique that can supercharge your gamified systems and drive user engagement to new heights: Boosters. In this blog post, we’ll explore what Boosters are, why they’re so effective, and how to apply them across various industries and platforms.
What are Boosters (Game Technique #31)?
A Booster is a reward that allows users to perform the Desired Actions in a gamified system more effectively, efficiently, or enjoyably. Examples of Boosters include power-ups in video games like Super Mario’s star or mushroom, which enhance the player’s abilities and make the gameplay more engaging.
Boosters differ from other rewards like status or external benefits (such as cash or discounts) because they directly facilitate and enhance the user’s experience. This makes them an ideal tool for driving long-term engagement and motivation in gamified systems.
Why are Boosters so effective?
Boosters are effective because they create a positive feedback loop in which users perform Desired Actions to earn rewards (like currency), use the rewards to obtain Boosters, and then use the Boosters to perform the Desired Actions more effectively or efficiently. This loop keeps users engaged and motivates them to continue taking Desired Actions.
Additionally, Boosters can help address some of the limitations of other reward types like status. For example, when people achieve high status, they may feel like they’ve proven their abilities and stop engaging with the gamified system. Boosters, on the other hand, encourage users to keep engaging by making the Desired Actions more enjoyable and efficient.
Examples of Boosters in various industries:
Example 1: Online Marketplaces
When working with eBay, we explored ways to enhance user engagement and encourage sellers to complete Desired Actions, such as uploading more than four photos, allowing print shipping labels, and communicating within 24 hours. Traditional rewards like discounts and free shipping seemed like an obvious choice, but we wanted to think outside the box and consider Boosters that could enhance the user experience even more.
After brainstorming, we came up with the idea of offering sellers a “seller’s kit” as a Booster. The kit could include a portable backdrop that would allow them to take better pictures of their products, making the process of uploading high-quality photos more enjoyable and efficient. Additionally, the kit could contain a portable scale, which would make it easier for sellers to weigh items for shipping and print accurate shipping labels. These Boosters not only improve the user experience but also encourage sellers to complete Desired Actions more efficiently.
By providing Boosters that help users perform the Desired Actions better, eBay can create a more engaging and rewarding experience for its sellers. This not only drives long-term engagement and loyalty but also increases the likelihood of sellers completing the Desired Actions, ultimately benefitting both the users and the platform itself.
Example 2: Online Learning Platforms
Online learning platforms can significantly benefit from incorporating Boosters into their reward structures. For instance, a platform might offer a Booster that temporarily increases the speed at which users earn points or badges for completing course activities. This could encourage users to engage more with the platform and complete activities more quickly, leading to accelerated learning and progress.
Another Booster idea for online learning platforms is to provide users with access to advanced note-taking tools or interactive mind maps. These tools can help users better understand and retain the information they’re learning, making the learning experience more enjoyable and efficient. As users see the positive impact of these Boosters on their learning, they’ll be more likely to continue engaging with the platform and taking the Desired Actions.
By offering Boosters that directly improve the learning experience, online learning platforms can increase user engagement, satisfaction, and overall success. This not only benefits the users but also helps the platforms achieve their Business Metrics, such as increased course completion rates and user referrals.
Example 3: Fitness Apps
Fitness apps can also greatly benefit from the use of Boosters to motivate users and improve their workout experiences. For example, a fitness app might offer a Booster that doubles the number of points users earn for every workout completed within a specific time frame. This encourages users to exercise more frequently and consistently, leading to better fitness results and increased engagement with the app.
Another potential Booster for fitness apps could involve offering users access to personalized workout plans or premium video content. These Boosters can make the workout experience more enjoyable and tailored to the user’s needs, encouraging them to stick with their fitness goals and continue using the app. Users who see positive results from their workouts and enjoy the process are more likely to recommend the app to others, driving new user acquisition.
Incorporating Boosters into a fitness app’s reward structure can lead to increased user engagement, motivation, and long-term success. By offering rewards that directly enhance the workout experience and help users achieve their fitness goals, fitness apps can create a loyal user base that consistently engages with the platform and recommends it to others.
Incorporating Boosters in your gamified system:
When designing your gamified system, always consider incorporating Boosters into your reward structure. Doing so can help create a feedback loop that keeps users coming back for more, driving long-term engagement and motivation.
To effectively use Boosters, ensure that they directly facilitate and enhance the Desired Actions you want your users to take. By understanding your users’ needs and preferences and offering them Boosters that improve their experience, you can create a more engaging, motivating, and successful system.
In conclusion, incorporating Boosters into the reward structure of your product, platform, or service can greatly enhance user engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty. By offering rewards that directly improve the user experience and facilitate the completion of Desired Actions, you create a more engaging and motivating environment for your users. This not only benefits the users themselves but also helps you achieve your Business Metrics and drive long-term success.
As we’ve seen with examples from eBay, online learning platforms, and fitness apps, the key to designing effective Boosters is to identify rewards that empower users, making their experience more enjoyable and efficient. By understanding the unique needs of your users and the Desired Actions you want them to take, you can create Boosters that resonate with your audience and drive meaningful results.
In a world where user engagement and satisfaction are critical to the success of any product or service, integrating Boosters into your reward strategy can give you a competitive edge. Start exploring how you can leverage Boosters in your own offerings, and watch as your users become more engaged, motivated, and loyal, propelling your business to new heights.
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