You have probably come across the idea of gamification if you’ve been reading articles about the web or workplace trends. Video games have dramatically changed during the last few decades, and marketing professionals haven’t missed out on the appeal.
Websites with gamification elements can keep visitors engaged and entertained for longer. You should, however, consider a few factors before adding these elements to your web design projects.
As you might imagine, each gamification strategy must address the unique factors of each brand – there is no universal solution.
Gamification involves adding game mechanics to non-game environments, including websites, online communities, learning management systems, intranets, and others, with the primary goal of increasing motivation and engagement.
In other words, gamification is typically envisioned as a step toward collaborating, sharing, and interacting with consumers, employees, and partners.
So, how does it work?
Through the integration of game mechanics and dynamics into online platforms and other interfaces, gamification offers proactive directives and feedback to audiences, helping achieve business goals and objectives.
In a gamified experience, designers can demonstrate their product’s best qualities, outlining the brand’s goals and audience and tapping into the consumers’ emotions.
Crucially, gamification provides both brands and customers with immediate feedback about their performance and guidance on how to improve.
Top 4 Benefits of Including Gamification Elements in Your Website Design
All the top reputation management companies and user experience experts out there will tell you that the web design and gamification combo is a surefire way of solidifying your brand on the market. Here are a few reasons to incorporate game elements into your web design. Imagine what you could include in your own web design to inspire the following benefits and engage your visitors.
1. Generating Interest and Engagement
Adding game elements to your business website generates interest and encourages visitors to explore the extent of their capabilities. Many people find that testing their limits is the most exciting part of playing games.
Consider a gamified product onboarding campaign. It starts simple — customers are asked to provide some information. When they ask for additional instructions, they are given a limited range of options. The more they explore, the more options appear.
It’s only natural that customers want to dive deeper into whatever they unlock and try to explore the set of actions that will unlock the next level of content. This is the basis of any modern video game’s progression structure.
One disadvantage of keeping content behind a “progression barrier” is that some visitors will not be engaged enough to click through multiple menus to get a result they know is coming. You might want to consider adding a sitemap or “shortcut” so visitors who don’t want to play can still reach their intended destination.
Whatever you do, make sure you don’t prevent users from engaging with your site. The idea is to encourage visitors to interact of their own free will, not force them to do so.
2. Incorporating a Social/Competitive Element
Using game elements, you can promote socialization and competition. Even the biggest introverts among you will agree that humans are social creatures above all. Arguably, this inherent need to socialize and interact with our peers has enabled us to conquer the planet.
Companies often utilize this aspect of human nature through various reward/loyalty programs.
This strategy capitalizes on the concepts of competitiveness and socialization by subtly encouraging a more significant number of visitors to engage with the site. Some organizations even offer tiered memberships based on point accumulation.
Gamification can extend your influence in fun and engaging ways through social media, a powerful marketing channel. To take full advantage of this concept, ensure your content is shareable and find additional ways for customers to interact.
It may be a good idea to have a message board on your company website allowing customers to talk to one another and share all kinds of ideas. We all naturally want to share our experiences with family and friends, so encourage your users to invite people from their respective social circles to participate through “loyalty points” or “XP” rewards.
3. Making Your Content More Rewarding to Discover
Curious by nature, the human mind is always seeking out new information. Incorporating game elements into the design of your website can be a great way to appeal to the human sense of discovery.
This is an excellent idea to utilize when onboarding new visitors: create a problem for them and give them the tools to solve it. It would help if you allowed users to test and play while looking for the desired result and reward them as soon as they reach it.
This approach is sure to engage a wide range of customers. Casual visitors will find a fun distraction here, while diehards will explore every choice.
If your prospects and customers are made to feel as if the discovery of your content is a reward for their efforts, they are more likely to continue on their journey. Play with game elements and exploration to tell your company’s story. This is sure to keep your visitors returning for more.
4. Gamifying Your Marketing Efforts
In the end, your business model will determine how you approach gamification. Developing a comprehensive strategy for gamification is essential for every company since it appeals to different types of people and addresses specific concerns.
For some companies, it may be as simple as writing a short visual novel about the company’s history or a loyalty-based rewards program to entice and engage the audience. Others might want to go one step further and develop a robust gaming experience for their customers.
Regardless of which route you choose, it is easier to track your success metrics with a gamified approach.
There is a good chance that eventually, you and your marketing team will find the areas within your process that aren’t performing as well as you would like and make a conscious effort to bolster them.
Due to gamification’s data-driven nature, businesses can monitor the success of their programs. That said, some gamification approaches differ from others. Some vendors may not be able to offer the robust features necessary for a truly groundbreaking solution.
To make any gamification strategy successful, you need a thoughtful approach and a format that resonates with your customers. By adding game elements to your website design, you will break the norm and make visitors interested in exploring more of what you have to offer.