In the early 2000s when Diablo II came out, the internet was not so connected.
We know why people spend money to buy virtual goods.
Say someone spent 500 hours for a virtual good. And you want it. What would you be tempted to do? You take your savings (labor from the past) and exchange it for those 500 hours. Spend money to save time.
In Diablo III, the developers tried to go behind the players’ back to benefit from this player activity. They designed a real-money auction house and made Blizzard the middleman.
Of course! People will love this!
Yu-kai actually knew people who worked to make hundreds or low thousands of dollars each month as a side business. Essentially, they were mining Diablo III for virtual goods.
Biggest Fail in Blizzard’s History?
But this was one of the biggest fails in Blizzard history.
Apparently, the real money auction house was destroying the game.
How could this be?
The failure of the real money auction house resulted because of CD2, the LACK of CD2.
If you can buy something, it takes away from the struggle and strategy to attain it, and actually detracts from its value.
Simón Duque is a Colombian Industrial Engineer who’s not comfortable with the way the world works. Thankfully for him, Gamification came to his life on 2015 and gave him the tools to re-think the world he lives in. For more about Simón, see his credentials at the bottom of this post.
The Habitica Design challenge was hosted in 2017 by The Octalysis Group. Simón was a finalist.
Habitica’s goal is to build (positive) habits, altough it is now dealing with long-term engagement issues. This Design Challenge was therefore tought out based on the pschological approach to procrastination and the means to identify solutions using the Octalysis Framework.
The analysis of Habitica ends up with different theories and approaches that build up a final list of new and improved features that reflect benefits as it leads users to stay connected to chats and other social features and even invite more friends to join them in their experience.
These social interactions are the ones that support the core desired actions within the app. It also helps improve the dynamics involved specially in CD2 and CD5 by affirming Basic Human Psychological Desires such as Competition and Altruism.
As Tyler Renelle himself said — “In case of building good habits, social accountability is essential”.
When people ask me, “What’s a good eCommerce Gamification example?” They often get surprised when I tell them “eBay.” (Woot.com is another great example with a very high value for 2 of the 8 Core Drives in Octalysis – guess which ones?).
If you were to think of creating an eCommerce site, it’s not obvious that the website should have a fierce bidding system, an intricate feedback implementation, nor “yellow stars,” “purple stars,” and “power-rated sellers.” This is a well-designed, well-orchestrated example of Gamification. eBay remains one of the strongest tech companies out there, being a Fortune 250 (from a Fortune 300 last year), with PROFITs in the Billions.
They’ve helped millions of people become entreprenuers (including myself! My first ever business was an eBay business), as well as made the world a better place through reused resources and materials. More relevant in this context, they made buying and selling online a lot more fun.
Last week Google hosted their annual conference the Google I/O and released a new version of Google Plus.
The new one is an improvement, but still a major frustration for the majority of the people in my network. Even though they claim to have massive user growth rates, most of my friends said they just got pushed into using Google+ while checking GMail or other products and it’s extremely confusing and annoying. Not a good mark.
Therefore, I created a slide deck documenting the design issues Google+ has and the frustrations it could bring to users, in hopes that it would get the attention of Google so it could start to improve and actually become a site that people would love.
The slide deck is 129 slides, but don’t let that intimate you, as most slides only have one sentence in them and it reads quickly and I’ve heard it brings out quite a few laughs. Enjoy.
Some Big Takeaways
Google+ has a lot of users, but very few people use it – just check out how many people +1ed the Google Blog compared to Facebook Likes
The reason why this happens is primarily because people on the Google team are too smart, and cannot empathize with the mainstream user (like my mom)
A great product makes mainstream users FEEL smart
If users spend more than 4 seconds trying to find something, they already start to feel dumb
Typing in Plus.Google.com to get to the site is already a big barrier for the mainstream user to use
Automatic push-downs of content while people are still reading
Google+ has a large amount of “navigation spaces,” which makes it incredibly confusing for the user (and 3 more dropdown lists!)
Semi-Spammy Suggestions look like content, and content looks like Ads
Editing background information is really hard
Can’t really “Find” friends based on any criteria
Getting to people’s profiles and photos is a huge pain (People -> Your Circle -> Search for Friend -> Double Click -> Profile)
Auto-notifications really intrude into the Email space and settings are confusing to adjust
“Trending Topics” show posts from last year!
Google Hangout asks users to crash into random stranger’s conversations – awkward
Local only gives an odd recommendation that is not needed.
Socializing with users is hard
When it comes to social, don’t focus on being smart. Focus on making your users feel smart
Tired of waking up every morning? Is getting out of bed a drag? A Japanese company decided to add some Gamification into the process and make waking up Epic and Fun!
They call it the Gun O’Clock. A Gun that is only designed to shoot a clock.
I found this thanks to the cool blog Geekologie. The idea is simple: you set your alarm on Gun O’Clock the night before, and at the designated time in the morning, on top of the usual PiPiPiPi sound (or any custom sound that you can record), a bull-eye target will come up and the “user” will need to grab a gun and shoot at the target 5 times in order to get it to quiet down.
Here’s a video of how it works (“Iz Coool!”):
Gun O’Clock: 1
Tackling the “Waking Up” Industry with Gamification
The “Waking Up” Industry, or…Alarm Clocks, has been in a constant battle in finding out the best way to get people out of bed happily and vigorously.
A while ago, I covered the Playpump, which is a good example of how a physical product can use Gamification to create social good (and save millions of lives).
Equally important in the developed world, is getting kids and adult alike to exercise more. Zamzee is a physical device that tracks how people move around, and hence complete “Quests” based on their activity level.
I’ve had the pleasure of talking to the Zamzee team about what they do, so I’ll let them explain why they are great at making running around fun and addicting! Also, the Zamzee team has generously offerred to give a 25% discount to my blog viewers, so consider going to Zamzee.com now and input this discount code: LUVZZ2012.
1. What is Zamzee?
Zamzee is a game that gets kids moving. Zamzee uses an activity monitor and website to make movement fun and rewarding.
2. What was the motivation behind creating Zamzee?
The purpose of Zamzee is to make moving fun so that more kids enjoy being active. Today over 1/3 of Americans are overweight and/or obese. Research and real life, practical experience tells us that physical activity declines around ages 9 to 15, right when kids are forming lifelong habits. That’s why Zamzee is targeting this age-group with a product designed for kids (with their help, too!) that makes physical activity more fun.