Nowadays, video game tutorials that teach you “how to play” are virtually non-existent, preferring to let the first few levels of the game itself be the so-called tutorial. Do something similar with your website or social media. Let your players experience a small bit of the whole array of options that you would like for them to experience. Avoid forcing the player to register all their details as a first step. Let them play and enjoy the experience and value of your site first. Keep things simple and understandable, but suggest a growing experience of value if they choose to continue. It’s similar in concept to the popular maxim “Tell me, I’ll forget. Show me, I’ll remember. Involve me, I’ll understand.” The key is engagement. On average, according to research cited by MIT, students only remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear, and 50% of what they see demonstrated, but when they are interacting in virtual worlds, that retention rate skyrockets to 90%. Be sure to reward your players during this short onboarding phase. Be supportive – even exuberantly so – and give frequent feedback, especially in these early stages. There’s a reason why in video games, when you complete a level, even a simple one, you’re rewarded with lots of rousing bells and whistles, sounds, animations, excited cheers, and various other motivating digital pats on the back.
Which gamification element should you choose? Should you combine some of these gamification elements? It all depends. Who are your players? What are their motivations? How might their motivations translate into preferred modes of play? How, in turn, do these preferred modes of play determine which gamification elements to use so that your players are engaged? We’ll take a look at these and more next time.