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One of the primary challenges to business today is cutting through all of the clutter to directly engage their intended audience. Companies that fail to capture the interest or imagination of their desired target will continue to find engagement and conversion elusive. Competition is fierce for the attention of your potential customers, but also for that of your business partners and employees.
Gamification is one way to attract and hold the attention of those who you want to engage with. By inserting activities, tasks and interactions that are interesting and relevant to their audience, companies can increase the level of engagement in a meaningful way.
As we know, gamification is the practice of using game-like interactions within non-game activities. It typically involves some type of reward for performing a specific task. Effective gamification techniques involve challenges and activities that make participants feel good. They use a combination of social currency, achievement and fun to turn mundane or tedious tasks into desirable activities.
Examples of tasks where gamification improves engagement and/or conversion rates include web-based sales and marketing, employee training, consumer-driven word-of-mouth marketing, information and data gathering tasks, and more. All of these activities are made more interesting by introducing rewards, accomplishments and entertainment into them.
The science behind gamified interactions is clear – people are motivated by recognition of their accomplishments. Whatever the activity, if we complete it successfully and are rewarded, our brain releases endorphins that lead us to feel good. If an activity is especially interesting, fun or challenging, our neurological chemistry responds accordingly.
When people receive a reward for an achievement, no matter the scale of the reward, their self-image is enhanced and they feel encouraged. This positive response creates a favorable impression of whatever activity they were performing, and the association is made. Gamification creates an opportunity for positive association with a brand, product, service, or other entity. When developed in the right way, these game-based activities can be an effective tool in not just engaging, but converting participants to your view.
Studies have shown that when even relatively mundane websites use a gamification style to their design, conversion rates increase measurably. Examples of this are websites that request users to provide information by filling out a form using drop down menus or text boxes. These are often tedious tasks that frequently see a user abandon it before completion. However, when this same information is put in the form of a playful graphic style, completion of the task can be greatly increased.
In one particular A/B test of a registration process, two web pages were compared for their effectiveness. The website was for an IT-oriented job board, and was requesting detailed information from job candidates. The control version was a standard text-based form with drop-down menu choices. The rate of abandonment during the registration process using this page was high. The second version was a gamified web page with graphics that showed the progress of a representative applicant.
This second website was also configured in a sort of treasure hunt style, with the beginning and end in clear site on the page. Now keep in mind that the information being requested was identical, it was simply being requested in a different style. After 28 days and more than 10,000 applicants, the results were clear. The website that used a gamification style had an increase in conversions of 66% over the text-based version.
The effectiveness of gamified website design and gamification of websites for sales, marketing and branding cannot be overstated. In almost every case where a standard or static design is compared with a website that uses gamification, the results are extraordinary1. Studies show an increase in brand recognition and loyalty, engagement in social media and word-of-mouth advertising, better retention of customers, and improved conversion.
At Designing Digitally, Inc. we’re committed to designing the most effective gamification techniques for your business, brand, product and service. As an eLearning solutions company, our knowledge of game-based engagement and grabbing the attention of your target audience is second to none. Our results in effective gamification and serious game design speak for themselves. Let us know how we can help you improve your engagement and conversion rates using our expertise.
 Does Gamification Work? A Literature Review of Empirical Studies on Gamifacation – Hamari, Koivisto, Sarsa. 2014.