New Trends in Gamification

New Trends in Gamification image showing a business person drawing figures for growth and innovation A guest blog from our friends at TechnologyAdvice exploring cutting edge innovation in the gamification market.

People love games.

This isn’t a new revelation. People have loved games for a long time. And when someone really loves a game, they dedicate hours to mastering it.

In fact, as of 2011, over 5.93 million years of total time had been spent playing World of Warcraft alone. When a game is that good, people spend hours at a time engaged with the platform.

This is the same type of engagement companies are experiencing with their gamification systems (albeit a little less extreme than World of Warcraft). The idea of implementing gaming techniques in the workplace was originally met with heavy skepticism, and often criticism. Now, there are dozens of case studies outlining how companies large and small have used gamification to increase profits, decrease expenses, and increase competitive advantage.

A recent study performed by M2 revealed that the gamification market, currently valued at around $100 million, will grow to more than $2.8 billion by 2016. As more companies begin to realize the massive potential of gamification in the workplace, and as vendors create new and inventive ways to gamify everyday processes, the biggest movers and shakers will seek to stake their claim on what’s trending in the industry.

A few trends in particular have risen from the crowd as powerful and interesting changes within the gamification industry. Companies who have taken advantage of these trends have seen successful results, and other organizations are jumping on board. Continue reading New Trends in Gamification

MindTime: A Player Type Framework

A map of MindTime's world of thinking

In my centerpiece Octalysis Framework post, I demonstrate how Richard Bartle’s 4 Player Types are incorporated within a Level 3 Octalysis framework by considering which Core Drives are pushing different types of people through the 4 Experiences Phases.

What was not made clear is that I used Richard Bartle’s 4 Player Types as a demonstration; other player personas can be utilized in place of Bartle’s 4 player types such as: Male/Female, Engineers/Marketers, Loyal Fans/Curiousios/Nonchalants, etc. Andrzej Marczewski and Amy Jo Kim have done excellent work around how to design better experiences for target audiences.

In the end, Level 3 Octalysis seeks to analyze and understand how to best design for different types of people within the gamification context.

In this post, we introduce MindTime, a player type framework to help gamification practitioners better design for their target audience.

Continue reading MindTime: A Player Type Framework

The Gamification of Business Infographic

This Gamification of Business Infographic (courtesy of ClickSoftware) briefly captures the different gamification techniques and mechanics that have been applied over the past 4 decades. It also showcases how gamification is being utilized in some of the largest companies.

Can you identify which core drives were being successfully implemented in this timeline?

Infographic showing stats and key milestones of gamification design and implementation

Guest Report: Employee Engagement can be boosted with Gamification


Guest Report Author Bio

TechnologyAdvice is a market leader in business technology recommendations. The company provides free and unbiased research and analysis of IT options to help businesses of all sizes find the solutions that best fit their specific technology needs.

Most office workers think digital engagement would boost performance

Survey shows majority of employees would welcome game elements in daily tasks

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 10, 2014) — Employee engagement is one of the biggest challenges in the business world, yet recent numbers show many companies are missing opportunities to increase worker motivation.

A survey conducted by TechnologyAdvice revealed that more than 70 percent of office employees feel digital engagement software would help them perform better at work. In addition, 54 percent of respondents say they would be more likely to perform a task if it incorporated game elements. Despite these preferences, more than two-thirds of those polled say their company is not using any type of digital engagement platform.

“The majority of office workers believe that engagement programs and the introduction of game elements would help them at work,” said TechnologyAdvice Content Manager Zach Watson, who authored the study. “While the buzz around gamification in the business world appears to have reached its peak, adoption rates remain relatively low. Engagement can be a subjective term with room for interpretation, but it’s clear from our data that better recognizing workers for their contributions, making repetitive work more inviting, and providing a visual record of workplace progress are all major opportunities for current businesses to improve engagement with employees.”

One reason for low adoption rates could be the need for greater consideration of employee personalities and job functions when deploying employee engagement software. Fifty-five percent of respondents prefer to work in a predominantly collaborative environment, including more than 60 percent of those who work in customer service. However, office employees who work in sales prefer a far more competitive environment.

Age is also a key consideration for digital engagement platforms and game elements. Ninety percent of 18-24 year olds and more than 80 percent of 25-34 year olds surveyed believe an engagement program would help them at work. Meanwhile, 42 percent of 45-54 year olds and more than half of 55-64 year olds in the survey do not feel they would benefit from an engagement program.

Wellness programs are the most popular use case, with nearly 30 percent of respondents identifying a health and fitness platform as their most preferred engagement strategy. A points-based rewards system (24.7 percent) and a progress tracking system (17.4 percent) are the next two preferences for participation, ahead of both internal social networks and an office leaderboard ranking system.

The survey was conducted through a random sample of 398 office workers whose main job functions are in marketing, customer service, or sales. The full study and more information on its methodology are available here.

Last chance! This weekend: A 3-Day Octalysis Gamification Workshop Online!

Lance Chance to sign up for Yu-kai Chous 3-day Gamification Workshop

Want to sign-up for this weekend’s 3-Day (Online) Gamification Workshop on Octalysis? You won’t regret it!

My 3-day online progressive workshop on Octalysis Gamification for Asian/Australian timezones start this weekend! From now until Friday, you can get 10% off of your Day 1 and Day 2 ticket by entering TierVIIEarlyBird in the Enter Promotional Code box.

Important to remember that for those in the US, the workshop begins Friday, December 5th ( at 7pm for those on the west coast). For those in Asia/Australian workshops, the workshop will begin the afternoon of the 6th.

Here’s a summary I wrote last week on what to expect:

One of the frustrations I have is that, in all my public speeches, since I can never assume the audience have previous knowledge of Octalysis, I always have to cover the fundamentals of gamification as a whole, Human-Focused Design, and the 8 Core Drives of Octalysis. As a result, I keep making similar talks over and over without being able to go in depth of unleashing the powers of the 8 Core Drives to improve peoples’ designs.

As a result, I started to do 3-Day (4 hours a day) online workshops with a variety of attendees from all over the world. I’m thinking about doing three to four of these a year, each being in a different time of the day so other continents can find a time to comfortably attend too.

We recently just finished the first European/US time zone focused 3-Day Online Workshop, and it was a tremendous success! Over 40 people took part in this great journey of learning and applying the 8 Core Drive, Octalysis Strategy Dashboard, and creating Concept Wireframes towards their own projects.

A few have already written to me about how taking the workshop has changed the way they do things with a lot of results. An attendee from South Africa even gave a very generous testimonial too:

 “So I would like to let Yu-Kai and all of you know that one of the companies that I work for has  already been transformed thanks to the Strategy Dashboard. Our projects have a much better  direction, we have found new ways to monitor the projects as well as monetize them. Our designers  love it as it has helped them design more focused interfaces with direct links to the actions we want  to encourage….the CEO is itching to get on the next course as well. So Thank you Yu-kai Chou You have truly helped me.” -Ryan Julyan, Former Workshop Attendee 

Quick Summary of the 3 Day Gamification Workshops

Gamification Workshop Day 1: Fundamentals

Day 1 was great as we consolidated much of the 8 Core Drives knowledge so that everyone who has learned from me in the past will have a strong foundation over the motivation design pieces within the framework.

In my public talks, we merely introduce the 8 Core Drives and list out some examples. In the Day 1 Workshop we went into details about the nature of these 8 Core Drives, their strengths and weaknesses, and how to balance White Hat with Black Hat as well as Left Brain and Right Brain Core Drives.

It made me happy that a couple folks who finished Day 1 asked if they could do Day 2 last moment. 

Gamification Workshop Day 2: Implementing a campaign through the Strategy Dashboard

Day 2 was about putting that knowledge into action on a real design project. Even though it was a bit more similar to traditional project management and design learning materials, it is based on the Day 1 foundation and has a strong focus on creating activity loops, reward schedules, and feedback mechanics.

This is important because so many people figure out how to create great ideas that motivate people when they learn about Octalysis, but fail to incorporate that into a process that outputs a fully engaging system at the end.

Sometimes just using the Octalysis Strategy Dashboard to define the priority list within Business Metrics and defining the Desired Actions leading to them can really change a business around from my own experience.

Gamification Workshop Day 3: Custom Octalysis Design for Attendee Projects

To be honest, I was fairly nervous about Day 3, since it is always a little bit unpredictable – Core Drive 7. I could prepare for Day 1 and 2, but couldn’t really prepare for Day 3, as it depends on the preparation work of the attendees, questions, and specific cases they present.

Either no one prepares anything, and I need to come up with things to talk about, or everyone prepares too much and I need to figure out how to make sure everyone gets (and not just the person presenting) a ton of specific case-driven value out of it.

There’s also always the risk where I would end up being like, “Umm….I don’t know how to solve this problem” which would make me look pretty bad, haha (although so far I am blessed to not gotten stuck like that yet). I’m also unsure if other attendees would get bored when I’m going through improvements on another person’s project. This also makes Day 3 to be the most fun for me though based on Core Drive3 principles: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback.

Luckily, Day 3 turned out to be a big success (Core Drive 2 accomplishment!). Everyone was engaged, I managed to answer most of the questions, and more importantly showed attendees how to apply the methodology everyone was learning in the past couple of days.

For some attendees, we drilled down and refined on the fundamentals – the Strategy Dashboard; for others, we examined through the 8 Core Drives to make their campaigns more engaging; and then for a few we came up with some hyper creative ideas that at the minimum is worth exploring. We covered a multitude of projects, from banking, to medical websites, to a Hollywood movie project, education, and more.

I smiled in relief when I saw an attendee mention in social media that Day 1 and 2 were amazing, but Day 3 was the best.

Would you like to be part of this journey of being enlightened about how our brains work and improve Desired Behavior?

As I said, so far my plan is to run these workshops 3-4 times a year, depending on demand. If you plan to take your life and all your projects to the next level (why aren’t people using my product? Why aren’t my employees motivated? Why aren’t my students studying? Why am I not studying?), you should seriously consider participating in the workshop – the earlier the better because every week you don’t have this knowledge is hurting your future wellbeing(I am biased in this statement, but I wholeheartedly believe in it. I use this knowledge literally on a bi-hourly basis and it has transformed my life).

The next workshop that is coming up is on a weekend that is friendly for Pacific Time, Asia, and Australia.

And if you read all the way up to this point, you deserve to get a special 35% discount code “YukaiBlogReader” that will be effective if you register soon. Do take advantage of it, especially if you have already missed the High Tier Early Bird Discounts!

Again, here is the link to Register for the 3-Day Gamification Workshop on Octalysis

How Apple Inc. Harnesses Epic Meaning & Calling to create Loyal Snobs

Image of The giving tree giving an Apple Inc. Logo to a boy

(Below is a manuscript snippet of my book, Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards. Please subscribe to the mailing list on the right to order the book when it launches. This post may be moved into a Premium Area after a certain period of time).

Newton’s Pride is Not Just a Fruit. It’s Got Gravity.

Epic Meaning & Calling is generally best communicated during the Discovery and Onboarding Phase of a Player’s Journey. You want to communicate very early on exactly why the user should participate in your mission and become a player.

Apple Inc. is one of the rare companies that truly understands the Core Drive Epic Meaning & Calling, and they managed to instill that into consumers without it being user-generated, an open platform, or pushing for “a charitable cause.”

Every once in a while, I’ll have friends who excitedly tell me, “Hey Yu-kai, I am saving up to buy the next iPhone.” I would respond, “But you don’t even know what’s in the new iPhone! What if it sucks?” My friends would usually respond with, “I don’t care. I’m going to buy the next iPhone.”

Isn’t that a strange phenomenon in a world where electronic consumers are spoiled by all the options out there, with many alternatives touting the same or even better capabilities than the iPhone but only at a fraction of the cost?

Why are people so crazy about Apple products?

What we are seeing here are people who are self-identified as an “Apple Person,” and therefore they need to do what “Apple People” do, which of course, is to buy the newest Apple products.

This is also why you would regularly see hordes of “Apple Snobs” walking around and making comments like, “Oh, I never have that problem because I have a Mac.” “Hmm, well, that’s what you get for not using an iPhone.”

I myself have been guilty of this too (proudly!). When confronted with the argument that many Android phones have better specs and lower prices than the iPhone, my response has usually been, “Well, I don’t know about the specs, but I do know that, when I’m using an Android phone, I feel sad; but when I’m using an iPhone, I feel happy. Perhaps that’s worth something.”

So the Multi-Billion dollar question is: How does Apple do this?

Besides having a stellar and smooth product with an intense focus on the details of design, Apple has been one of the few electronics companies that actually try to sell a higher meaning.

Lets examine two of the most successful Apple commercials in history.

Continue reading How Apple Inc. Harnesses Epic Meaning & Calling to create Loyal Snobs

Guest Blog: The Employee Rewards That Really Count

Image of Google gear showing extrinsic motivation at play as Employee Rewards

An internship at Google- examples of extrinsic employee rewards. Image by frakkin from Reddit

Guest Blog Author Bio

TechnologyAdvice is a market leader in business technology recommendations. The company provides free and unbiased research and analysis of IT options to help businesses of all sizes find the solutions that best fit their specific technology needs.

Employee Rewards That Really Count

One of the biggest issues when it comes to designing a reward program for sales teams is that everyone is motivated differently.

Some people prefer extrinsic rewards – physical things such as vacations, bonuses, salary raises, trophies, or swag like the image above. Others would rather receive intrinsic motivation through recognition and public attention. Studies have been conflicted as to whether an extrinsic rewards system or an intrinsic motivational system is more effective. So how do you decide what to offer? How do you find out what your employees really want?

According to a report issued by the Incentive Research Foundation, the key to successful employee motivation is to have a well-designed program that equally emphasizes both extrinsic and intrinsic rewards.

In other words, offering raises, bonuses, and other forms of compensation is a great starting point, but a successful sales incentive program should go beyond that point.

The key to your employees finding value in the program might have nothing to do with the actual reward at all.

Continue reading Guest Blog: The Employee Rewards That Really Count