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Blog 04 :: Gamified Apps Evaluation

James_Blog 04_Gamified Apps Evaluation

Gamified Apps (Pertaining to how gamified applications can be evaluated)


James became interested in the term, “Gamification”, with the two of the courses he attended, Usability Engineering (UE) and Managing Information Systems (MIS), have a lecture about it. To his epiphany, his personal encounter with this gamified App movement (apart from pure gaming App) came so casually and unknowingly. He recalled Shopee had “Shake to Win” events whereby at certain timing user can attend that event and literally shake their phones vigorously to obtains coins which are able to be used in Shopee to offset prices. It didn’t last long as every few coins were obtained and to take note of the event timings is just a hassle, not to mention the laborious shaking of phones.

Apart from that, recently he also tried an App named Duolingo, introduced by one of his MIS classmates, which was a gamified language learning education App. And it was pretty interesting and even addictive maybe in the first few minutes, but after a few days, it got a little ineffective maybe because the "game" is:

- Individual/ Solo (there's no multiplayer or team play)

- It's simply clicking (repetitive of one gesture just can be boring, if swiping or typing enabled would be fun, maybe at later stages)

- Each session interval are just too small and less challenging (it tries to not take up too much time for people to learn in bite-size, but making it too easy can lose interest)

In fact, gamification become really relevant in our everyday life, with many resemblances of gaming elements. Shops give membership rewards and supermarkets conduct contests with prizes. From young, teachers reward students with stickers for good achievements and motivations. With gradings on the line, we are currently in a gamified education system trying to achieve high GPAs, getting ranked with honors, climbing the ladder from Bachelors to Masters to PhD. In the long run, competitive is only good if everyone has the right attitude, the dark side of gamification is that being competitive, there is some reward or fame on the line, people may just want to exploit on loopholes to achieve the “Victory” which may just backfire and spoils the essence of learning.

Hence, learning how gamified Apps are being evaluated can be really useful, not just the aspects of evoking interest and gaining the manipulative insights of a user, but also the aspects of maintaining the user satisfaction as well as how beneficial the gamified features really are.

For starters, James comes across with an article by Anastasia Khomych, a content marketing manager at GetSocial, which he thought is quite informative as she described how gamification works in real life and that mobile gaming Apps are the most downloaded and popular Apps in the Apple App Store.



Anastasia evaluated a list of gamified App using the game design elements together with engagement and retainment:

- Badges to keep track of user’s achievements;

- In-game currency as useful rewards or bonus

- Levels to maintain the challenging aspects;

- Performance Charts for progress comparison and records;

- Points as accumulative rewards and accomplishments;

- Scoreboard to evoke competition and performance relation with other users.

- Keep in mind the problem that needs to be solved with gamification and try not divert too far off into gamification and lost your corporate goals;

- Incorporate social elements by having multiplayer interaction to drive groups of people together;

- Keep everything simple so that user knows what to do next intuitively, smoothly and transparently;

- Develop an easy-to-use reward system with accumulative rewards for user to work towards their goals.