Avoid these common pitfalls of Gamification

Designing Digitally


Gamification Pitfalls

Gamification has innovated the way people learn. It motivates learners with digital badges and virtual contests. Social media ensures that learners can share their accomplishments with the world. It is the latest trend and everyone seems to be jumping onto the bandwagon. But somewhere down the line, organizations sometimes forget that it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It requires a degree of customization to ensure that things are working for the benefit of the organization. There are certain pitfalls of gamification that needs to be avoided in order to take full advantage of this learning methodology.

Learners are rewarded too soon.

If learners are able to overcome the challenge too easily, then they may quickly lose interest. The more challenging the game is the more will be the desire to ace it. It is necessary to make the players feel that the achievement was worth the effort. On the other hand, if the achievement level is too high, average players may lose interest after a few attempts. A delicate balance is required to keep all learners engaged.


Learners may be motivated superficially.

Gamification is about badges and virtual honors. However, virtual motivators may not be enough, at least after a certain point in time. It is true that learners need to be driven by intrinsic motivators. But after a certain point, extrinsic rewards also matter.  It is important to have a right blend of both.  Extrinsic awards can be as simple as pizza parties, gift vouchers or dinner coupons to keep up the motivation.

It does not feel like a real game.

When organizations try to force gamification, it loses the essence of a game. No one will want to play a game that lacks originality. Every organization is different and gaming solutions need to be customized and tailored to their specific needs.

It is easy to cheat and achieve levels.

The gaming elements must not have loopholes for the players to cheat and reach the desired level. Utilizing a professional online training developer can prevent this loophole from occurring. Obtaining top scores by cheating defeats the entire training purpose.

The user experience should be high quality.

In a game-based environment, user experience is the utmost priority. Competent UX designers with game design experience should be hired for a stellar user experience. If there is no budget for this, then it is important to reconsider the gamification strategy. 

Social elements should not be forced.

Game-based offerings are bound to have a social aspect. Having a common goal and a sense of friendly competition is the basis of success of gamification. But if this is forced, then the entire purpose is lost. The players should gain from interacting and socializing. They should not be forced to network and socialize.

Good gamification resolves this issue by creating smaller individualized leaderboards. There are options for the player to select only their friends to compete with. There are also options to create leaderboards based on the level of skills. For more information on gamification implementation contact us today!