What Are Gamification Techniques?
Ania Kozioł · 2023-06-03
Gamification has become a powerful tool in the world of business, education, and beyond. Game design elements can be used to increase employee engagement, human motivation, and overall success in various aspects of life. But how do you implement various gamification mechanics to achieve desired outcomes?
To simplify gamifying your activities, below, you’ll find a selection of highly effective gamification techniques that you can apply to your endeavors. We’ll also explain what the gamification techniques are and how they differ from gamification elements.
Read on to learn about these techniques and how they can benefit your organization, project, or personal life.
Gamification Techniques Explained
In one of our other articles, we’ve explained the concept of gamification elements – the building blocks that make up a gamified activity or system. Contrary to what common sense might dictate, gamification techniques and gamification elements are not the same.
Gamification techniques can be defined as the experiences you create by using various game design mechanics. In other words, gamification techniques are the applications of gamification elements.
To give you an example, boss battles and leaderboards are two of the most commonly used gamification elements. You can use them to create to implement one of the most useful game techniques: the sense of progress.
Set Clear Goals Before Using Gamification Techniques
Before you use game techniques to implement gamification elements into your activities, you need to set clear goals. What do you hope to achieve with gamification? Without specific and actionable goals, it will be difficult to assess the success of your gamification strategy properly.
Some common goals that organizations set for themselves when they gamify their activities include:
- Increasing engagement
- Motivating employees or students
- Improving performance
- Creating a sense of community
- Encouraging creativity
- Boosting morale
Once you have a sensible and achievable goal in mind, you can start thinking about the different gamification techniques, such as:
1. Providing Immediate Feedback
Feedback is one of the simplest and most widespread game techniques out there. It has been a staple of computer games for decades, from the earliest arcades to the most modern VR games.
By providing immediate feedback to users after they complete an action, you can effectively motivate them to keep going or find a different way to achieve something. After all, knowing that you’re on the right track is half the battle.
One way to provide feedback in a non-game environment is through a game element such as points. Whenever a user completes an action, they earn a certain number of points. These numbers can be displayed in real time, so users are constantly aware of their progress. This technique is often used in fitness apps, where users can track their progress toward their daily or weekly goals.
Another approach to letting the users know that they’re going in the right direction is by providing a visual representation of their improvement rate. Progress bars are excellent gamification elements for this purpose. Users need just a single glance to gauge how far they’ve come and how close they are to their goal.
2. Rewarding Your Users
Rewarding users on a regular or semi-regular basis is a crucial gamification technique that can significantly increase user engagement and motivation.
People are more likely to continue using a product or service if they feel that their efforts are being recognized and they’re receiving some benefit in return.
Badges and trophies are some of the best game mechanics that you can use with this particular gamification technique. They provide a tangible representation of the user’s journey to their goal and create a powerful sense of accomplishment.
You may also try to reward users by giving them access to exclusive content or features that they can’t get anywhere else. This could be anything from bonus levels in a game to VIP access on a website. By doing this, you not only reward users for their loyalty and engagement but also give them an incentive to keep using your product or service.
When implementing a reward system, it’s essential to ensure that the rewards are relevant to your target audience and align with their interests. Additionally, make sure the rewards are attainable and fairly distributed to avoid discouraging users.
3. Creating a Sense of Progression
When users feel that they’re making progress, they’re more likely to stay engaged and motivated. This gamification technique relies on the steady increase of difficulty as the user completes more actions.
Video games have been using this approach since the very early days of digital gaming. The concept is simple: as the player becomes more skilled, they’re presented with more challenging tasks.
You can take a cue from video games and implement a leveling-up mechanic in your gamified activities. Each activity contributes to the user’s progress, and as they complete more actions, they earn experience points that allow them to level up. At the very end, they might face a boss battle that requires all of their skills and knowledge to defeat.
This approach could work very well in the education context. First off, users are exposed to particular knowledge through various basic game elements such as stories and quests. They then get to practice what they’ve learned in a safe environment.
Once they’ve mastered the material, they can face the big boss – an interactive quiz or final exam. Failing the quiz or exam isn’t the end, though – users can always try again to earn the next level. The final outcome would be then presented on a leaderboard showcasing the 3 best students.
Of course, educating others is just one example. You can use this gamification technique in practically any situation, from visualizing the sales process to tracking the user’s fitness journey.
4. Offering Choices and Customization
One of the great things about video game environments is that game designers usually offer players a sense of freedom in shaping their own experiences. It’s a good idea to take a similar approach when you’re gamifying your activities.
When possible, offer your users a choice of elements of game play, such as different rewards or daily tasks to complete.
You should also allow users to customize their experience within the activity. For example, if you’re creating a fitness app, let users choose their workout routines, set personal goals, and even design their own avatars.
By giving users control over their experience, you increase their sense of ownership and investment in the activity, which in turn leads to higher engagement and motivation.
5. Challenging Your Users
While it’s important to make sure that gamified activities are accessible and achievable, you should also challenge your users from time to time. This will keep them on their toes and prevent them from getting bored with the activity.
Of course, the challenges shouldn’t be too hard – the idea is to enrich your non-game environment, not to make it more frustrating.
Imagine you are teaching a foreign language. A good way to challenge your students would be to hide a secret message in one of the gamified activities. The message could be in the form of an anagram, for example. Once they decode it, they earn a bonus point.
This technique can also be used in a business context. For example, you may challenge your customers to convince their friends and families to use your product or service. Each successful conversion could be rewarded with a discount or freebie.
6. Applying Constraints
Constraints are an excellent way to increase the difficulty of an activity without making it too frustrating. They also force users to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions.
One common type of constraint is time limits. Say your students have to complete a certain number of tasks in a gamified activity within a certain period. This will encourage them to work faster and think more carefully about the actions they’re taking.
Another way to constrain an activity is by limiting the number of resources that users can use. This could be anything from the number of moves they can make in a game to the number of attempts they have at solving a problem. By doing this, you force users to be more strategic and think about the long-term impact of their actions.
7. Ensuring Accessibility and Inclusivity
When you’re gamifying your activities, it’s important to make sure that they’re accessible and inclusive. This means taking into account the needs of all your users, regardless of their abilities or backgrounds.
There are various ways to implement this gamification technique in non-game contexts. One of the most widespread approaches is to use the Wheel of Fortune game element. This allows users to spin a wheel to determine their next task or activity. The beauty of this game design element is that it offers completely randomized results, so everyone has an equal chance of winning.
Let’s say you want to test the knowledge retention of your students, but you don’t want to play favorites. A Wheel of Fortune game element would come in handy here. Spinning the wheel lets you choose the next student to answer a question. This way, everyone has an equal chance of being chosen, regardless of their academic performance.
8. Using Visuals and Sound Effects
Sensory input is a powerful motivator, and it’s something that video games have been using to great effect for years. By incorporating visuals and sound effects into your gamified activities, you can create a more immersive and engaging experience for your users.
Let’s say you’re using an app to quiz your students or employees on something they need to know. Visual cues can be used to great effect to underline the choices users have made. For example, selecting the right answer could result in a green checkmark or golden star, while the wrong answer could be marked with a giant red X.
Similarly, sound effects can be used to notify users of their progress or success. A fanfare or celebratory jingle could play whenever a user completes a task or achieves a goal. On the other hand, failure to meet a goal could be accompanied by a sad trombone sound.
9. Offering Tips
Tips are a necessary component of nearly every video game ever to exist: to enjoy the experience, players have to know the game rules. The same is true for gamified activities in a non-game context.
When you’re incorporating game elements into your activities, it’s important to provide users with advice on how to use them. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and avoid any confusion or frustration.
Let’s suppose you are onboarding new employees and want to use a gamified approach. You could create an AR-enhanced scavenger hunt that would take employees around the office to find different departments and key locations.
You might use the clue game mechanic to provide employees with tips on where to look for each area. Following that, the ‘discovered’ locations would be marked on an interactive map in the gamification app, so no one gets lost.
Virtually the same approach could be applied to the education sector. Gamification can be used to create an interactive museum tour, for example. Students would use their smartphones or tablets to play mini-games and get clues about different exhibits as they walk around the museum. Once they find the exhibit, they can learn more about it through an augmented reality experience.
Using Gamification Techniques Is Easier With Aribo
Manual implementation of various gamification techniques can be a rather lengthy and difficult process. Certain game techniques may also require specialized knowledge to use (e.g., programming experience), which can be a barrier to entry for some organizations. Fortunately, there is a solution: gamification platforms.
Aribo is a powerful gamification platform that simplifies the process of incorporating game design elements into your activities. With an easy-to-use interface and a wide array of customizable features, Aribo allows you to design and implement game techniques tailored to your specific needs and goals.
Do you need to create an AR-based onboarding experience that will leave your new employees excited and motivated? Would you like to boost engagement during your classes by introducing interactive quizzes and challenges? Aribo has you covered.
Contact us now and do your gamification the right way!
The Bottom Line
Gamification techniques are an effective way of using your desired game mechanics/elements to create an engaging, motivating, and successful experience for users in various contexts, such as business, education, and personal development.
By utilizing the techniques presented above, you should be well on your way to designing effective gamification strategies that meet your specific goals and requirements.
And don’t forget to check out Aribo – the powerful gamification platform that makes it easy to implement various techniques of gamification in your activities. Choose a subscription plan and turn your gamification efforts into a massive success!
Ania Kozioł · 2023-08-09
Ania Kozioł · 2023-08-07
Ania Kozioł · 2023-08-05
Ania Kozioł · 2023-08-03
Ania Kozioł · 2023-08-01
Ania Kozioł · 2023-07-13