How gamification works and why companies use it
All the industries strive for greatness. But, web design is one that is evolving at a rapidly increasing pace. Concepts and designs that were relevant yesterday are useless today. Though tongue in cheek, this is essentially how the industry works. The web design industry always tries to find and develop new and effective ways of interacting with audiences on the internet. Insiders and experts are constantly working to figure out the most effective ways to grab attention and lead users down sales funnels, with unique content and graphics all along the way.
Even though web design trends are continuously changing, industry specialists always take action well in advance before what is new and exciting becomes the expected, everyday practice. This helps them to stay at the forefront of the industry. But despite what it seems, not all new trends come from design. For example, an increasing number of web designers today use concepts from neurobiology and cognitive psychology to understand the minds of web users. Nevertheless, the video game industry managed to earn over $120 billion in 2019. This industry has been through fire and ice and now lives at the top of the Forbes list.
As was already mentioned, web designers keep up with trends and incorporate them into their practices early. With video games, they did so quite effectively. Why not gamify user experience, while visitors browse a website? The results have been quite promising, as the title of this article should’ve hinted at. Gamification is a very useful and fruitful thing if it’s done right. In case your company has a website that has been dragging on a pitiful and fruitless existence for a while now, it might be time for an update and some strategic incorporation of gaming elements into its design. In the meantime, if your company doesn’t have a website, you must find a reliable and reputable web design agency that can provide you with all website related services including all elements of creation and launch: design, development, copywriting, SEO, and everything else. More and more people go online before ultimately deciding to buy or order something. If you don’t have a site, your business is going to miss out on a considerable portion of your target audience.
Don’t worry about finding a web design company – there are many great web design companies out there, who can create truly spectacular sites, no matter the specific niche or industry. Even if you have a rather limited budget, you can always find an agency that will work within your financial limits. If you want to reach out to your target audience effectively, you must make sure that your website provides them with a great user experience. Talk to the web design agency you hire and discuss the possible ways to add game elements to it without making it feel that this is some lame online game.
However, before you either update your old site or create a new one, you should know why gamification is effective and how it does what it does.
Competing with others boosts user engagement
Humans are inherently competitive, and every individual loves to compete with themself. When it comes to competition, Facebook proved to be the best at driving it. Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter are also following the trend. In reality, all social networks utilize the idea of gamified competition. Can you get more likes than your friends? Can you get the most followers, pins, hearts, etc? It’s essentially one big game. Of course, there are more straightforward examples of this. Any site that uses leaderboards and high scores immediately trigger that instinct to compete!
A while ago, the BBC allowed users to gather small leagues for people to forecast scores in the European soccer cup. Entire families got hooked and were checking the BBC site every day to see if they got their scores right and check if they’d passed other people in their leagues.
Humans are addicted to exploring and escaping
The entire reason people love video games is because of escapism. Getting lost in exploring a unique world while roleplaying is why video games like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy are so popular. When you let users explore, they become intrigued and excited. These are two incredibly powerful emotions. This ultimately creates a positive user experience.
Certainly, this type of exploration must be meticulously structured, so visitors don’t get lost. But, take a look at how Netflix lets its users take control and explore the platform; however, they want to. Giving people this type of freedom nourishes their sense of curiosity. The sensation that you get running across something new is thrilling. Encouraging this boosts your site’s user experience and ultimately lead generation and conversion rates.
Humans love being rewarded
Every single person loves rewards. People like to achieve things. Points, likes, shares, etc. – all of that are good things, and they make websites entertaining. However, why not just go one step forward and offer an actual, real-life reward?
One obvious example is with the coffee giant Starbucks – they offer rewards after a particular number of buys. Recyclebank also offers its members rewards for recycling. People can accumulate points and exchange them for deals or local discounts further. Or both. Most people will go out of their way to get a reward. What this tells us is rewards drive website user actions.
People want exclusivity
People pay thousands of dollars for a first-class airplane ticket for a reason. Of course, it’s comfortable – you can lie in a bed and have a glass of champagne. However, these features are not why you’re paying. Status is the reason. Exclusivity generates curiosity, intrigue, and jealousy. People will work very hard to get up to that status. Once again, Starbucks manages a perfect balance with its “gold” status for regular clients. It’s similar to unlocking a secret video game level. You get a huge dopamine hit and a chance to look behind the scenes.
Teamwork and collaboration drive engagement
Community and collaboration are two essential parts of another important mental driver. Humans are social animals, and this is why they love playing multiplayer games. This translates well to gamification. If you manage to make users feel like they are part of a community or team on their journey, you will create both loyalty and a great user experience.
Kickstarter is a great example of how to use this type of community gamification. Firstly, site developers have gamified progress bars, exclusive high-bidder rewards, time-limits, and goals. It is one of the most gamified sites on the World Wide Web. Either way, it’s the spirit of collaboration and community that makes it so successful. When a project finally achieves its funding goal, it’s perceived as a mutual achievement. Talk to your web design agency and try to find ways to get people together in common to achieve a goal on your site.
Dopamine addiction makes people come back for more
Gamification triggers a dopamine rush. Leveling up, getting rewards, receiving feedback, or achieving a goal pumps humans with dopamine. It’s the brain telling people to do it again because it feels so good! And guess what? This is also when addiction begins.
There is a clear reason people get addicted to gaming. And there’s a reason why websites that get gamified manage to retain their users and improve their metrics. People keep coming back for more – and dopamine is what’s pushing them!
Keeping people interested in your site, not even mentioning getting them engaged with it, is no easy task. But gamification helps with both. There’s no need to create a cheesy online game instead of a company website. Creating the correct environment is enough to keep your site visitors interested and wanting to come back for more. What this takes is the proper understanding of how design and games work and can work together.
It’s best to connect your web design agency with your in-house marketing team to get the best results so that everything is clear from the get-go. Your website visitors must value what you provide them and enjoy spending time on your site, whether they are determined to make a purchase or just want to check out a blog article. Give your visitors a little bit of control and reward their achievements at the right steps in their journey – just don’t forget to let a web design agency help you with that.