Badges in Gameful Design: How users perceive them and how are they motivational

This is a guest post by Gustavo Tondello, Gamification Research and Consultant, who is creating a new offer a new type of service for gamification professionals. He will publish weekly summaries of research articles (or even some original articles of his when time allows) in a format that intends to help professionals quickly understand and apply the takeaways from the research on their work.

A common design element

Badges are the most used element in educational gameful design and the third most used element in gamification in general. They have been listed by many different gamification researchers and experts as one of the basic gameful design elements. But do you know exactly what role do badges perform on a gameful application? How do users perceive them and interact with them—do you know that there are at least nine different ways? How do badges motivate users to engage with the gameful system?

This article summarizes the latest research on how badges are perceived by users, what kind of users prefer to use them, and how do they motivate users of gameful systems. Finally, we give design guidelines to make the most effective use of badges in gameful design.

In short:

  1. Badges are often seen as a form of incentive or reward;
  2. Badges are also frequently seen as a means for goal setting and a measure of accomplishment;
  3. Users with social tendencies may enjoy utilizing badges as a means for social interaction;
  4. Badges can be useful as a form of positive feedback and encouragement;
  5. But badges can get in the way if users are already motivated to engage with the task or if they do not perceive any real value in the badges.

Do you want to know more details and the design guidelines to learn how to design badges to fulfill all these roles in your system? Keep reading below to download a free copy of the full article.

Note on Patreon Content

This article is a free sample of the kind of content I am publishing as a Patreon content creator. Please download the file below to read the full free article. Badges-in-Gameful-DesignDownload

As a subscriber, you will have access to weekly articles like this, summarizing a topic from gamification research in an easy and practical format, with guidelines on how to apply it to your practice. Have you ever felt that it would be great to keep up with the latest gamification/UX research, but there is never enough time? Now you can do it!

If this sounds interesting, please check Gameful Bits on Patreon and subscribe now!

Gustavo Tondello, Gamification Research and Consultant

Get mentored by Yu-kai Chou

Octalysis Prime Gamification

Every week I hop on a conference call to teach, answer questions, and give feedback to members of Octalysis Prime. If you want to take your Gamification practice to the next level, then come join us.

Would you like Yu-kai Chou to work with your Organization?

If you are interested in working with Yu-kai Chou for a business project, workshop, speech or presentation, or licensing deal, please fill out the form below.

You must engage in the conversation!!