3 GOOD AND 3 POOR EXAMPLES OF GAMIFICATION

3 GOOD AND 3 POOR EXAMPLES OF GAMIFICATION

Gamification is a great way to engage and motivate learners, and to fast track the achievement of your goals. In this article, we discuss three good and three poor examples of gamification, along with the reasons for each.

GOOD EXAMPLES

1. Dropbox

The company’s goal? Get more people to use Dropbox. And their strategy? Award additional drive space for introducing friends to the service. A free account gives you access to 2 GB of storage, but you can earn an extra 500 MB for each friend you refer. Plus, other activities on the site are also rewarded appropriately – 250 MB for taking a tour of Dropbox’s services, 125 MB for connecting to your Twitter or Facebook accounts, and so on.

By directly tying their business goal with a reward that users highly value (additional storage space), the company has hit the proverbial nail on its head, and sent product adoption rates soaring.

2. LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s new interface and experience leave a lot to be desired, but it is an example of gamification done right. Right from profile strength, to skill endorsements, to profile and post views, the service oozes gamification at several touchpoints, and in a good way. All tied up neatly in a bid to get more people to use LinkedIn, and more often than before.

However, product adoption and usage are not enough on their own. LinkedIn is a freemium service, which means that the company wants to encourage users to buy a subscription, which is where they earn their money. LinkedIn does so in many ways. On the home page, there is this subtle message that reads “Access exclusive tools and insights: Reactivate Premium”. Or go to the page where you want to see who’s viewed your profile, and you see this message “Upgrade to Premium and see who’s viewed your profile over last 90 days while browsing in Private Mode”.

3. Duolingo

One of the best apps I’ve seen for learning a new language. Uses gamification fittingly to motivate users to maintain their learning ‘streak’. Here is a detailed review of this marvelous tool.

 

POOR EXAMPLES

1. Google News

Google’s goal was to make more people read their news via Google News Reader. To encourage people to do so, people were awarded badges for reading news stories. These badges were awarded based on the topics the users read about, and they were automatically leveled up when they read more. And… that’s it! The only use the badges had was that they could be displayed on the user’s profile page, earning them bragging rights. But, bragging for what? For reading a piece of news?

This was a poor implementation of gamification on many counts, the most important of them being the badges literally meant nothing to the users. People could not do anything with their badges, except choose to display them to their networks, which presented an additional problem. Those who were uncomfortable making their browsing / reading habits public gave up using Google News altogether, making the entire initiative a failure.

2. Zappos Badges

This, again, is an example of how meaningless badges can drive users away. Zappos as a brand is brilliant at marketing, and the company already had a loyalty program wherein VIP customers were treated with free shipping and the like. So when they started introducing badges on users’ profile pages, people got excited. Only for it to fizzle out in a short while. For, those badges just sat there, just being displayed, and doing nothing else. A typical example of offering a reward that no one wants. Needless to say, Zappos ended up scrapping the program.

3. Wupperman Steel

Wuppermann is a steel company based in the Netherlands. They created a dashboard displaying safety incidents and stoppages, the idea was that showing this data would make workers aware of the number of incidents, thereby reducing their occurrence. Workers were rated based on their individual scores, and were then pitched against each other on a leaderboard.

When the program was launched, Wuppermann employees started complaining that they found it depressing to be always reminded of what went wrong. Additionally, the idea of forced competition further tended to demoralize staff, forcing the company to drop the program.

 

What do you think? What other examples of gamification (good or bad) can you think of? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Looking to implement gamified learning in your organization? Please get in touch with us at elearning@learnnovators.com.

SRIVIDYA KUMAR

Written by Srividya Kumar

(Co-Founder at Learnnovators)

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