Gamification Expert &

Behavioral Designer

5-Hour Workshop with eBay on eCommerce Gamification (Slides)

The King of eCommerce Gamification

When people ask me, “What’s a good eCommerce Gamification example?” They often get surprised when I tell them “eBay.” ( 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.

Presenting to the King

This week, I had the extreme honor of being invited to eBay to do a 5-Hour Workshop, and while I can’t really disclose much about why I was there or any specifics on eBay, I thought it would be intriguing to my blog readers the content I put together that helps people understand Gamification and my framework Octalysis better. The items relating to eBay within are both generic and public.

At first, I was concerned that I would run out of material before covering 5 hours of straight content, but after preparing some more, I realized 5 hours was a bit short to cover how to create a well-designed gamification campaign. A lot of thought goes into something well-designed, even though the output could just be a simple button. That thought goes way beyond, “where do I put my badges?”

The Elephant-Slayer in the Room

The nature of most of my talks is that I always need to clear up Misconceptions in the Gamification Industry – that gamification is “games/a fad/useless/not for serious companies” or that it’s a terrible term. Well, it actually isn’t that great of a term. I’ve spoken over and over again how Gamification is really “Human-Focused Design” (as opposed to “Function-Focused Design”) and since the gaming industry is the first that mastered it, we are learning from games and calling it “gamification.”

Anyway, that’s what the industry picked up, and sometimes you just gotta go with the flow. You wouldn’t be reading this blog if I called this “Yu-kai Chou and Human-Focused Design.”

Once I clarify through that – I go into the meat of using Octalysis to implement actionable gamifiication into a campaign or product. I even introduced Octalysis Level 2 and 3, something that I have not published at all about at this point.

Hope you enjoy the slides and feel free to ask me questions in the comments!

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8 responses to “5-Hour Workshop with eBay on eCommerce Gamification (Slides)”

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  2. before that if you want to make yourself smtrear you should hang around with smart people. And there certainly are a lot of noobs online. Maybe a sort of selective pressure’ would apply where a smaller percentage can prevail past said noobery. Noobical selection’.

  3. Hello Yu Kai, from what I have been able to scavenge from your blog, I managed to picture Octalysis level 2 and 3.
    Level two is clearer to me, as it is only logic adding different elements to product’s design while users find themselves on different stages of the game, it is important to evolve the product and make it grow with the user experience.
    What is not clear is how you do it, on Level 3, for different kind of users.
    I mean, you will have to fill the product with different elements, to catch the attention and keep engaged all kind of users, throughout all phases, is that correct?
    Don’t you risk to add to much elements and confuse users in this way?

  4. Nice..,Yu-kai. I like the grid with player types and 4 phases…spurred my thinking on aggregating these into a spreadsheet.

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