“Good UX is the consequence of fulfilling the needs for autonomy, competency, stimulation, relatedness, and popularity”
- Hassenzahl, 2008, pp14
User Experience is the Science & Arts of designing a product. UX is everything that affects a user’s interaction with that product and It is:
- Easy to use
- Fits Expectations
- Meets Goals
The heart of any design philosophy is user engagement. With a user-centered approach, designers are constantly on the lookout for new techniques to enhance user engagement with products. The main objective of gamification in UX is to have strong emotional appeal, even in UI for serious aims. Gamification in UX design has assumed high importance in recent years.
And, it is a very modern concept. It does motivate and engaging the users by understanding the preferences in the user experiences. Generally, for users, it is a good time.
Application interactions may be boring to users. What is the solution?
“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and — SNAP — the job is a game”
- Mary Poppins
Gamification is the concept that you can apply the basic elements that make the application more fun and engaging to the gaming functions that typically aren’t considered fun.
Game-Thinking and Game Mechanics are the process to engage users and solve problems. To apply these activities in order to boost user engagements and other metrics with a product or service, make the product more fun. It is all about creating designs that are not only useful but also engaging and enable users to interact with the products.
How does gamification drive engagement?
Let’s take a fun theory of Volkswagen musical stairs (A giant Piano):
Morning while commuting to work, most of us struggle taking the stairs. Especially if there is an escalator next to that stairs. 90% of the people’s choosing the escalator instead of stairs.
Now a car company Volkswagen has come up with a playful idea to everyday commuters to take stairs instead of the escalator and encourage people to exercise more. A team transformed the stairs into giant functioning piano keys. The commuters who all chose the escalators now opted for the exciting new stairs and enjoyed making musical movements.
Now the ratio of using stairs has been increased to 66%. But, more than that the commuters like to have more fun at the same time. Some of them playing go up and down and up again just playing with the giant piano.
These piano stairs are an incredible example of using the power of play to motivate people.
This is the same kind of thinking behind gamification. It motivates the users to do the task completely.
Two Main Approaches to Gamification
- It influences behaviors through the use of stimuli and feedback.
- It studies behaviors and considers the brain to be a “Black Box”
- It encourages actions with incentives and rewards.
- Cognitivism studies the source of motivations and the user’s mental pathways.
- It helps open the “Black Box” and distinguishes between intrinsic and extrinsic motivations.
- Through experience, fun, and empowerment, It seeks to produce a specific emotion in the user.
- Gamification is one of the design processes. It shouldn’t be something that you apply for fun after building a product. But how do we put this into practice? While the process will be shaped by your product and audience, some areas to consider when applying game theories.
- Gamification in UX doesn’t mean just turning elements into games. It would rather implement or enhance motivational factors. That will help users to lead their journey and add some fun.