In a recent post, “What Can User Experience Learn from Gaming?”, we discussed that for many companies it has become increasingly important that they have a dynamic and lasting user experience, and the best way to do so was to follow the gaming industry example.

To further the importance of gaming and user experience, Brandon Workman of Business Insider writes in his article how the market for gamification apps and services will reach $2.6 Billion by 2016. This increase in the economic value makes it paramount that organizations have a strong gamification strategy. Here are a few of the key elements that organizations need to adhere to:

Intuitive design: Think simple, elegant, capable, and seamless. Gamification should clearly connect effort with reward. It should not be overly confusing, complex, or arduous. This is particularly so on mobile. Small devices and impatient users means there’s no margin for interface or design errors.

Behavioral sensitivity: Gamification should not disrupt worker or consumer routines, but grow naturally out of existing behavior. Commerce gamification can nudge habitual shoppers toward stores, but retailers shouldn’t bother with trying to persuade occasional customers with gamification. Likewise, an employee productivity game shouldn’t contain unwieldy systems that require employees to register their habits.

Balanced design: Foursquare’s early experiments with gamification ran out of steam because of the relentless focus on one-upsmanship. People grew weary of competing with strangers and friends for mayorships, and chasing badges. Gamification must blend in collaboration, meaningful rewards, variety, and elements of randomness to keep users hooked.

Alignment: Gamification must support business objectives. Gamification that is clearly “tacked on” to a product and feels flimsy or false will fail. Gamification that seeks to do all the heavy lifting around a business objective will also fail. Gamification can only support a smart strategy, not create one out of thin air.

Valuable data: Gamification that generates valuable data equips decision-makers to better understand the user, anticipate opportunities, and proactively resolve issues.

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