A Gamification Framework for Interaction Designers

As the critics point out, some gamified products are just poorly executed. Just because you saw something in a game once doesn’t mean it’ll be fun in your product. But I think that most of the critics of gamification fail to take into account the wide range of execution that’s possible. Gamification can be applied as a superficial afterthought, or as a useful or even fundamental integration. To tease out some differences and to think about how to implement gamification, we at DesignMap have started to put together a framework:

  1. Cosmetic: adding game-like visual elements or copy (usually visual design or copy driven)
  2. Accessory: wedging in easy-to-add-on game elements, such as badges or adjacent products (usually marketing driven)
  3. Integrated: more subtle, deeply integrated elements like % complete (usually interaction design driven)
  4. Basis: making the entire offering a game (usually product driven)

Gamification is a hot topic. Missed it? On Google Trends it first appeared as a blip in late October 2010 and then took off in January so quickly that it appeared on NPR’s Weekend Edition in March. Investors seem interested, and it already has a sold-out conference and a fast-growing list of agencies that will help you “do gamification.” You can even join a quest to become a gamification expert.

Bunchball gamification mechanics grid

More Reading

“Gamification” returns 847,000 results on Google, but we found some particularly clear, helpful, and super-smart thinkers if you want to learn a little more:

Read more at uxmag.com

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