Common game elements like points, badges, leaderboards, and levels are proven (and increasingly popular) ways to engage customers and encourage profit-driving consumer behavior. Foursquare is a great example of why these work. However, many proponents of this type of “funware” in product development and marketing miss the larger point: “How” you incorporate game mechanics is just as important as “Why” you should. A leaderboard alone does not make for a worthwhile or engaging game.
1. Start With Your Vision and Work Backwards
2. Make a List of Required User Actions
3. Motivate the Most Important Behaviors
4. Evaluate and Adapt
“Ultimately, game mechanics are not about simply having fun. They’re about helping users discover the utility in your product.”