Scrabble board: FUN TIMES

Lessons on Gamification from aimWEST

I love the topic of gamification because it brings a new dimension to building custom software. Here are my top takeaways from the event:

The Presenters Were Awesome

OK, I am a little biased because Eric P. is one of CQL’s software developers, and he’s ranked as one of the top developers on Stack Overflow. Eric offered a great mix of technical expertise and end user knowledge. He answered questions and gave great insight, which was a nice complement to the other presenters discussing products.

Games Must Be Obtainable To Every User

Gaming should be fun no matter what type of user you are. Even if you’re a novice, you should be able to obtain goals similar to the expert. Eric described how newbies, should be able to gain experience, have fun and feel included, but it should not be forgotten that the expert user will also be looking for that next challenge.

The Game Should Never End

Most of the time, they do end, and that’s a problem because once there is no longer a reward, people will stop using your game. In order to keep them around, use a model like Stack Overflow where gamers are always in a competition with each other, instead of just reaching a level and then being done.

Give Them More

Users want more than just a badge…they want a story, achievable goals, and different scenarios. Not everyone that uses your game will perceive the same value, so make sure you have options for them. Maybe they want to compete against each other, maybe they want that gold badge, or possibly they just want to say they did it. Make sure they can do all of that.

Gamification is a fun topic and something to which Grand Rapids software developers are paying attention. With more and more businesses competing for a user’s attention, gaming can definitely be a useful way to achieve that objective.

If you’re interested in more information on gamification, you can check out my earlier blog here that described a similar event held earlier this year for MoMoGrandRapids.

Photo Credit: Peddhapati

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