The simple premise behind the importance of UX-driven design is to make it easier and more enjoyable for your users to achieve desired goals. Gamification, one of the fastest growing UX trends, integrates elements of game playing into your business and is showing signs of big returns for those businesses who get it right.
The gamification market is poised to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 23.4 percent between 2016 and 2023, according a recent Credence Research report. Savvy business leaders are taking notice and investing in gamification, fully aware of the benefits. But if you still had your doubts, here are a few figures to consider:
- 91 percent of those surveyed in a Badgeville business gamification study claimed that such systems improve work experience by increasing engagement, awareness and productivity.
- Gamification can increase conversions by 700 percent, according to Kissmetrics.
- 63 percent of American households have at least one frequent gamer, and it’s not just kids. The average age of male gamers is 35; the average female is 44.
The research clearly shows that gamification works. But if you understand why it works, you’ll have a much easier time when you decide to implement game-like mechanics into your website, application or other systems.
It’s not just business—it’s biological
There are numerous ways to introduce gamification elements into your website or app. You can design your system to reward users for taking certain actions, rewarding badges, points or any other form of currency. And believe it or not, there’s science behind why this works. The neurotransmitter dopamine, for instance, sets off the brain’s pleasure sensors, and is released immediately before a user performs a task for which they will be rewarded. Similarly, the mood regulator serotonin is triggered when people have something for which to be happy or proud. By rewarding your users with gamification, you are biologically endearing them to your system, ensuring a positive UX.
We are social animals
It is said that Man is a social animal, and this has perhaps never been truer than in the age of social media. We like to compete, and we like to show our accomplishments to our colleagues, friends and family. So if you introduce gamification to your apps, for instance, it is a natural progression to include a connected dashboard that allows you to show your progress to others, and see how they stack up against you. Building on this social method, you can further encourage this behavior by linking rewards to social media platforms to not only get yourself a bigger audience, but to increase your user’s participation.
Building on past results for future improvements
Designers and developers are never truly done working. Rather, they’re continually looking for ways to improve user experience. By adding gamification to your site or apps, you’re giving your team another data set from which to explore further iterations. If a large percentage of users haven’t earned badges from a particular action, for instance, you’ve gotten a key insight into how they’re interacting, and what it means for your bottom line. When users see their actual issues addressed in new versions, they’ll feel like stakeholders themselves.
Learn more about Uptop’s approach and how we can help you leverage UX to improve your business.