Gamification has been one of the buzzwords of 2017, but behind the hype stands an impressive amount of research which shows how adding some simple features allows users to feel more engaged and in control of their own experience online.
Some of the most innovative and profitable niches are starting to take full advantage of the gamification trend, and as the word gets out that this stuff can really work to keep visitors on a page or using an app, we expect adoption rates to increase.
Here’s three niches which are already embracing the gamification revolution in user experience.
Slot machines were already designed to stimulate the human reward circuitry, but gamification has recently taken this to another level.
The Quickspin provider released their so-called Achievement Engine gamification module in 2017, integrating it with the Sakura Fortune slot game. The module offers players a more fun and rewarding experience by making use of six unique game events.
Crucially, the feature allows for users to select their own rewards, even allowing them to choose to claim back part of their losses.
This feeling of being rewarded for their achievements, as well as feeling they are in control of at least some of the outcomes, seems to be helping users be more engaged, and the Sakura Fortune slot has become one of the most popular titles in this niche in a short time.
The learning of a new language naturally lends itself to the principles of gamification. For starters, rewards for achievement are obvious; being able to order a meal in a restaurant or conversing with a charming foreigner in their own tongue are all massive ego-boosters.
Similarly, the feeling of having new possibilities to do, say, and understand things, certainly gives the sense of control and power which are so important for our feeling of well-being.
However, traditional language learning tends to be heavy on the boring grammar and useless vocabulary, and light on the fun stuff.
Duolingo decided to spice up the process of learning a new language, and their apps and online courses focus on small daily goals, with regular achievement awards to reinforce the positivity of learning a little bit every day.
The courses are free, forever, and now cover 18 languages, including the usual favourites of German, French and Spanish, but also some unusual ones like Irish and Turkish.
For most of us, getting and staying fit is something to be endured, and not something to enjoy.
But the latest apps and devices are using gamification principles to keep our motivation up, so that we say yes to burning 100 more calories, or walking an extra kilometre.
Fitbit does a great job of using gamification to boost motivation, by rewarding users regularly and often, with positive feedback, such as upon reaching the predefined daily step goals.
The app also focuses on celebrating the big, fun achievements that accrue over time. For example, once you clock up 250 miles, you get a London Underground badge. Climb 500 flights of stairs? Then you acquire a Helicopter badge.
These small and fun rewards really improve motivation to get fit, just showing that gamification appeals to our childlike ego, yet achieves impressive results.
We look forward to seeing which niches will embrace gamification in 2018.