The Way of The Octopus

What’s the best time to set up gamification in a project?

What’s the best time to set up gamification in your project?

When we meet companies wishing to implement gamification in their project, a question often comes up: “What is the best moment to integrate gamification?”

As often, there is no magic recipe but we determine the most favourable project phases to integrate gamification.

Gamification is not a superficial layer

To answer this question, I think it is necessary to go back to the definition of gamification and its pillars: gamification makes it possible to generate commitment around a project, relying on behavioural sciences and game mechanics.

We talk about the overall experience of your project and not just add a “superficial” layer with points related to each possible action of users and a ranking to highlight the best of them. These elements may be very widespread in games (and applications that try to be inspired), they are not their success.

We, therefore, advise you to really place gamification at the heart of your project to benefit from its positive effects. This involves a little more time and expertise to deploy it, but the results will be demonstrably better. It is also necessary to choose the right moment. We identified two particularly favourable phases:

  • project design and
  • redesign of project components
Gamification is not a superficial layer

Gamification from conception

Putting gamification at the centre of your project design ensures you create a quality experience by offering your users a captivating on-boarding process, an appropriate skill upgrade, and enough content to engage them in the long term.

Finally, by implementing gamification early on in your project, you can quickly and efficiently test features with your users and reduce costs (compared to unengaging application failure or changes thereafter). The only disadvantage is the lack of indicators and feedback from users who have already used your application extensively.

Gamification during a redesign

Another good time for the implementation of gamification: a technical redesign of your application is planned or you have many user feedback that comes together to request a new feature. Take the opportunity to integrate gamification and value your most active users.

The update of your tool will undoubtedly be more expensive and will leave you a little less freedom than if you had put the gamification at the heart of your project from the conception but you benefit from two consequent advantages:

Data: You already have a lot of information from your users to understand what appeals or not in your application, problem areas of the user journey and when they abandon your application;       

Committed users: You already (hopefully) have users who are fans of your application, ready to help you improve it (by sharing their experiences and ideas).       

These two elements will allow you to respond effectively to the stakes of your users through gamification.

Final word

There is not a single good time to set up gamification in your project. We advise you to be interested in two key moments: the design of a new tool or during a redesign of the application.

When designing, you avoid extra costs to set up gamification and have more freedom of action. But you do not have feedback from users/indicators. We help you avoid the mistakes of setting up gamification.

For a tool already created, you can rely on indicators and user feedback. However, you have less leeway to deploy gamification. We offer an audit to determine the steps of your application that you can improve through gamification.

Get your project off the ground with gamification. Contact us for a discussion. Download our experiences guide to see how we can help.