The true value of any app consists of different elements. For example, if a book is hard to read and understand, it will not have many admirers, no matter how great the ideas in it are. In a similar way, any software that isn’t user-friendly or able to engage can only attract a small audience of individuals. Other users will delete it shortly after installation. A great way to improve the experience of your users is to turn their tasks into a fun game. After all, who doesn’t like games, right?
We have explored a few products created by Diversido, a company that specializes in developing gamification apps. After comparing them to other apps, we’ve come with the following features that make such products popular.
Let your users bask in the glory of their accomplishments. This is how they can be incentivized to progress.
Internal currency and bonuses
In-app currency allows users to procure additional features and items, or get access to new challenges, locations, etc.
For example, you may offer each user an option to customize an in-app character. If you keep initial customization options limited, you can later “sell” extra features for internal currency. Introduce new hairstyles and new items of clothing. When a user accumulates enough currency, they can exchange it for the privilege of using a digital item.
In-app currency is everything a user can gain and spend within the app, including extra lives, “energy”, and various boosters. An example of a popular app that uses this system is Habitica. This task manager rewards users each time they reach a new level.
Some applications, such as Ivory Ella, offer customers extra currency points for sharing the app on social media. This is a great way for the app owner to grow the number of users.
Another technique to enhance customer experience is to make earning bonuses a game. You can offer users a chance to open a mystery box or spin the wheel of luck every day they log in. This builds up anticipation and contributes to user loyalty.
While currency allows users to pay for certain features of their choice, prizes can be bestowed upon them when they accomplish something. The user then decides whether they want to use it or not. The understanding that they will not receive a desirable element unless they are productive motivates a user to move forward.
A progress bar may provide visualization of how much progress the users need to make to get a reward. It is a special page within the customer’s profile that displays all the rewards and the progress towards them. For example, Evy’s Tree includes one. You may check it out for inspiration.
Badges of achievement
Badges are given to people who achieve their set goals. Examples of apps using this technique are plentiful. They include Apple’s Activity app, the Fitbit app, and the Kobo app, among others.
The Fitbit app alone has introduced more than 100 badges for various milestones, achievements, and special occasions. The app also encourages users to share the news about receiving a new badge on social media. This increases engagement rates and boosts motivation within their community and beyond.
Storytelling is a powerful tool of gamification. A popular fitness app for runners, Zombies, Run! is using this feature to its fullest potential. It is arguably the most significant reason for its popularity.
The app tells the story of a small outpost that is trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. The user has to complete various tasks and quests, running, collecting items, and helping the outpost. The app is described on the Apple App Store as “an ultra-immersive running game and audio adventure”. It has a rating of 4.8, based on more than 18 thousand votes. The story writer for the app is the award-winning novelist, Naomi Alderman.
Other apps have adopted similar techniques, including fitness apps like The Walk, Superhero Workout, and language-learning apps like Duolingo.
Challenges can take different forms such as quests, puzzles, riddles, missions, etc. They can be incorporated into the storyline, offered as additional options, or presented as stand-alone opportunities.
Additional challenges may be rewarded with items that can enhance character development within the main storyline. Stand-alone challenges are unusually limited in time and can be attributed to a holiday, such as special Christmas or Easter challenges.
Social interaction features are useful for an app owner for many reasons. They can help you recruit new users, increase engagement rates among the existing participants, and retain customers for longer, enhancing their lifetime value.
Such features may include group missions, leaderboards, in-app chats, and more. Being a part of a community motivates people. For example, they can discuss tips and techniques on how to achieve their goals faster. This is particularly useful for educational applications.
Language-learning app Busuu has even gone one step further. When a user registers, they specify which language they want to learn and which language they already know. Then, users around the world check written assignments of one another. In other words, if a user knows Japanese, they will check the assignment of a person, learning this language.
Gamification is a powerful tool for user engagement. It can make a whole world of difference, turning a struggling venture into a successful enterprise. The goal of a gamified app is to transform monotonous tasks into an exciting adventure. This entices the user to stay longer and share the experience with their friends.