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Octalysis Certificate Achiever: Kamran Hatami

Kamran is one of our Primers who started by submitting for his Octalysis Level 1 Certificate via the TOG website, and ended up being one of our Premium Primers.


In his colorful presentation, Kamran committed to analyze and design for the popular language learning app Duo Lingo. In this he succeeded. Especially his Analysis of the Current Experience and his Brainstorming were the highpoints of his presentation.

Check out the Hall of Fame with every person who attained their Level 1 and Level 2 Octalysis Certificate!


Congratulations on this excellent submission, Kamran!

Thank you so much for your feedback and encouragement! I appreciate your time and consideration. I’ll make sure to go through your feedback carefully.

Kamran Hatami

The best way to become skilled in Octalysis Gamification, is to put your knowledge into practice. With the Octalysis Certification program you have the opportunity to get official feedback from an expert to learn from, and help you on your path to mastery.

Do you want to find out what Gamification is all about, or bring your skills to the next level? Head over to Octalysis Prime and sign up to try the FREE version of Octalysis Prime (no strings attached) to join our community of passionate and driven members like Kamran. This is also the best place to submit for your own Octalysis Certificate!

Octalysis Certificate Level 2 Achiever: Youssef Ouazzani

We like to showcase the work of people who have attained their Octalysis Certificate to show the standard of quality required to get the Octalysis Certificate, as well as give a taste of things people will learn in on the Octalysis Prime mentorship platform.

While attaining a Level 1 Octalysis Certificate in itself is impressive and displays competency in the usage of the Octalysis Framework, attaining a Level 2 Octalysis Certificate demonstrates skill in the application of the Octalysis Framework to solve complex problems.

Since we massively revamped our Octalysis Certificates, only two people have attained Level 2, Sergio Ligato, and now Youssef Ouazzani with his Strat’Z’Fun submission.

Youssef attained his Level 1 Octalysis Certificate last May and almost instantly started working on his Level 2. We applaud your willingness to work hard, your openness to feedback, and your eager attitude, Youssef. Congratulations!

Check out the Hall of Fame where we show every person who, through skill and hard work, attained their Level 1 and Level 2 Octalysis Certificate!

Youssef’s Strat’Z’Fun submission covers an app design that will help employees become more aligned with the company’s strategic vision, in a playful manner.


This is what Octalysis Prime is all about: actionable Gamification knowledge.

Do you want to find out what Gamification is all about, or bring your skills to the next level? Head over to Octalysis Prime and sign up to try the FREE version of Octalysis Prime (no strings attached) to join our community of passionate and driven members like Youssef.

Octalysis Certificate Achiever: Elena Beutel

Our latest Octalysis Primer to attain the Level 1 Octalysis Certificate is Elena Beutel.

Check out the Hall of Fame with every person who attained their Level 1 and Level 2 Octalysis Certificate!

In 2018 Elena founded the Qatar Human Development Agency, with a vision and passion to help businesses do better by developing their employees. Her submission is interesting as it covers the way the product is presented and sold to new clients



The best way to become skilled in Octalysis Gamification, is to put your knowledge into practice. With the Octalysis Certification program you have the opportunity to get official feedback from an expert to learn from, and help you on your path to mastery.

I have created new brainstorming ideas linked to new Desired Actions, and I love them so much more! Thanks to your feedback, I feel that the quality of my offering becomes times more engaging and compelling!

Elena Beutel

Congratulations Elena! We hope your agency will be successful in signing more clients, based on your design.

Got a taste of the things you will learn in Octalysis Prime, or want to try your hand at your own Octalysis Certificate submission?

Head over to Octalysis Prime and sign up to try the FREE version of Octalysis Prime (no strings attached) to join our community of passionate and driven members like Elena.

Points, Badges, Leaderboards – Part 3 of 3

Last two weeks we discussed how behavioral design goes much further than the widely used Points, Badges, and Leaderboards.

We discussed how points and badges can be a powerful addition to your design if used right. This week we will talk about how Leaderboards (GT #3) can make an experience more engaging when implemented correctly.

The most common mistake made when designing Leaderboards

Leaderboards (GT #3) is a common Game Technique that is often implemented. Both in explicit gamification (where the user acknowledges they are playing a game), and in implicit gamification (a design that subtly employs gamification techniques into the user experience).

The most common mistake made when designing a Leaderboard, is creating a basic leaderboard. These leaderboards show where the user ranks in a list from the first to the last place. Such leaderboards do motivate, the top 5-10% will compete with each other and often times work hard to climb higher. However, the mid and bottom tier will usually feel demoralized, as they feel there is no point in even trying to reach the top.

Urgent Optimism – Why You Need It

A leaderboard should make all your users feel urgent optimism. This term is from Jane McGonigal (watch her TED talk). Urgent optimism is the desire to act immediately to tackle an obstacle, combined with the belief of having a reasonable shot of success.
When you have many users on a leaderboard, most users will perceive their rank as meaningless, even if it is a high rank percentage-wise. (E.g. rank 582 out of 6,024 is percentage-wise impressive (top 10%), but it does not feel like an accomplishment.) In this scenario, you can choose to only show your users their percentile.

The user should feel that if they try, they can reach the win-state, and that there is urgency so they feel they have to act now. If a user sees that they have 500 points, but the users in the top ten all have 1,000,000 or more points, they are not motivated, they are demoralized. The user will feel like they can never catch up (no urgent optimism) and will give up.

Leaderboard Designs That Do Work

Micro leaderboards show the ranking of the user in their region, or among their friends (a social leaderboard). These kinds of design will instil a sense of optimism (the user can try and will then have a reasonable chance to reach the top of the leaderboard) as well as a sense of urgency (how can I lose from my mother?).

Make sure your leaderboards are refreshing. If a leaderboard exists for a longer period of time, new users who are just starting will feel overwhelmed as they are not able to catch up and will give up.

The top ten users like their status, so show their names. But don’t show their statistics as to not demoralize other users. Instead, only show the statistics of the user herself and the 5 users above and below her.

The thing that really matters, is that the user is motivated to climb higher than those above her on the leaderboard (win-state), and not let those below her catch up.

When designing Leaderboards, make sure your users only see what is meaningful to them. Click To Tweet


Got a taste of the things you will learn in Octalysis Prime? Learn more by heading there now and sign up to try the FREE version of Octalysis Prime (no strings attached). Gain access to over 700 videos about Game Techniques and the 8 Core Drives of Octalysis and subjects like Motivational Psychology, Entrepreneurship, Behavioral Economics, Applied Psychology and more!

Points, Badges, Leaderboards – Part 2 of 3

Last week we discussed how behavioral design goes much further than the widely used Points, Badges and Leaderboards.

It is, instead, about the right implementation of the right Game Technique at the right time and place, that makes for a successful design, and an engaging experience.

However, points, badges, and leaderboards can be a powerful addition to your design, if used right.

Photo by Mark Leishman on Unsplash

Badges vs. Achievement Symbols (GT #2)

When crafting an experience, we want to use the terminology that is most enticing to the user experience. The term ‘badge’ is overused, and there are better names: achievements, icons, iconic figures…

Achievement symbols can also be 3 stars systems, a uniform change, belts in martial arts, certificates. They symbolize accomplishment.

Why Are Badges overused?

Many companies like to put badges on experiences because they only see the shallow side of the game. A game is supposedly designed to have a fun and exciting gameplay. As you play this exciting game, you want to strive for certain milestones (that not everybody can achieve). If you hit them, you want to get recognized, brag about it, or feel good about yourself.

A lot of gamified experiences and products make the user do a boring thing for 20 or a thousand times, and reward this with a badge. Unless the achievement is ‘persistence’, this does not make much sense.

Do not make an achievement more special than it is supposed to be.
Instead, create a fun experience, with the Right-Brain Core Drives (Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback, Social Influence & Relatedness, Unpredictability & Curiosity). If people then uniquely use their creativity or their skill set to do something that others can not or will not do, symbolize this achievement. Reward them on top of the already fun game. The user will be proud of it, feel excited about it, and might even brag about it.

The Core Drives

Badges focus most on Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment.

Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling – If the Achievement Symbol ties to something greater, you’re an evangelist, save lives, plant threes. If the user actually made a difference in the world, they wil feel proud of it.

Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback – Badges that require creativity and problem solving.

Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession – Badges can be turned into a collection set, a collectable theme.

Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness – E.g. when everyone who has the achievement can interact with each other, but if you don’t you can’t. You want to get in the club to mingle with those who also did amazing things. Or rewarding generosity, reaching our and helping other people.

Core Drive 6: Scarcity & Impatience – Badges can be made very scarce, but well-known. Dangling in front of the user who knows what to do to get it (Earned Lunch GT #7) and they want to grind and do it.

Core Drive 7: Unpredictability & Curiosity – Badges can be stealthily released as an easter egg badge.

Core Drive 8: Loss & Avoidance – Achievement symbols that can be lost if you mess up. Keep in mind that you don’t want to make the user so nervous to lose their achievement symbol that they’re Black Hat motivated.

At the core of Achievement Symbols is Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment.

The one rule for whether a badge is meaningful or not: If you give it to people, how likely are they to share it and brag about it to other people?

Implement Badges Correctly

When designing an experience, keep the Strategy Dashboard in mind. What are the Desired Actions, who are your Player Types? Then decide what the best Achievement Symbol design is to implement in your experience.

Next week we will take a closer look at Leaderboards and what they can bring to your experience if implemented correctly.

Got a taste of the things you will learn in Octalysis Prime? Learn more by heading there now and sign up to try the FREE version of Octalysis Prime (no strings attached). Gain access to over 700 videos about Game Techniques and the 8 Core Drives of Octalysis and subjects like Motivational Psychology, Entrepreneurship, Behavioral Economics, Applied Psychology and more!

Points, Badges, Leaderboards – Part 1 of 3

Behavioral design goes much further than the widely used Points, Badges and Leaderboards. This principle is one that is at the core of Yu-kai Chou’s book: Actionable Gamification.

The right implementation of the right Game Technique at the right time and place is what makes for a successful design, and an engaging experience. Click To Tweet

However, points, badges, and leaderboards can be a powerful addition to your design, if used right.

Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash

In Octalysis gamification we define two types of points:

Status Points (GT #1)

Status points allow the user to grow in status as they do more of the desired behavior. These are often experience points.

They focus on Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment, they make the user feel accomplished and a sense of progression.

With Status Points the user can level up and unlock permanent powers.

Exchangeable Points (GT #75)

Exchangeable points are points that you can redeem, exchange, gift. These are often virtual currencies.

They focus on Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession, they allow accumulation and exchange. As well as Core Drive 6: Scarcity & Impatience, make sure there is scarcity in coins and items are useful to buy. This is where The Big Burn (GT #88) can be used by introducing a very expensive item that will only give a small cosmetic change. The user can tell other users about her succes in coins accumulation by showing off this cosmetic change. This mechanic, where the user can quickly burn the majority of her points for something, helps you to control your economy.

With Exchangeable Points the user can redeem points for items that have a one-time use. Occasionally they might be used to unlock permanent powers, but this is less common.

Important Differences

It is important to be aware of the differences between these two types of points as to not mix them up. Most games use both points: experience to level up as status points, and currency to use and redeem as exchangeable points.

Next week we will take a closer look at Badges and what they can bring to your experience if implemented correctly.

Got a taste of the things you will learn in Octalysis Prime? Learn more by heading there now and sign up to try the FREE version of Octalysis Prime (no strings attached). Gain access to over 700 videos about Game Techniques and the 8 Core Drives of Octalysis and subjects like Motivational Psychology, Entrepreneurship, Behavioral Economics, Applied Psychology and more!