Guest Blog from Simon Duke , Head of User Experience, Innovation Digital

Engaging users with a product is a key goal of marketers. Recently, there has been a move to understand how techniques used to make games so deeply absorbing can be used to create more engaging digital content.

What makes games so engrossing?

Game designers draw upon a range of techniques to make games to engage players, including:

  • Building on our built-in desire to better a highest score
  • Rewarding progress and perseverance through levelling up
  • Enabling players to earn in-game currency
  • Using online gaming to tie a player into a social group
  • Developing an interactive story to draw the player in

Gamification is the concept of taking these methods and moving them out of the gaming environment and using them to motivate users to engage with something more frequently or for longer periods of time.

Where do I start?

Before considering using gamification to engage, it is critical to be confident that your audience will respond well to such techniques, so undertaking some research is a key step. It is also important to define what the key motivator is for the user, whether tapping into intrinsic motivators, such as a desire to improve or to achieve or extrinsic ones, such as competition or the chance to be rewarded.

What features work well?

The most commonly employed gamification techniques use rewards (or the chance of rewards), offer competition and reward perseverance and status through badges. However, the most powerful and effective gamification content is built around powerful stories and social interaction. Above all, the most successful include a strong element of fun, without which most users will ultimately get bored with the content, whatever the motivation. Fun is a key trigger to get and stay involved.

If you need further inspiration on the power of gamification to motivate users to engage more frequently and for longer then get off the couch and put your trainers on. But before going out for that run, remember to download the Zombies, Run! App to your smartphone.

Thanks to our guest blogger – Simon Duke , Head of User Experience, Innovation Digital

#techtourism @InnovDigital