By 2014, 80% current gamified applications will fail to meet business objectives mainly because of poor design, Gartner has predicted.
According to the analyst firm, gamification is currently being driven by novelty and hype with the focus on obvious game mechanics such as points, badges and leader boards, rather than the more subtle and more important game design elements, such as balancing competition and collaboration.
Brian Burke, research vice president at Gartner, explained: “As a result, in many cases, organisations are simply counting points, slapping meaningless badges on activities and creating gamified applications that are simply not engaging for the target audience. Some organisations are already beginning to cast off poorly designed gamified applications.”
The real challenge is to design player-centric applications that focus on the motivations and rewards that truly engage players more fully, said the firm.
Gartner added that, when implemented properly, gamification can help businesses achieve three broad objections: change behaviour, develop skills, and enable innovation.
Changing behaviors: The most common use of gamification is to engage a specific audience and encourage them to change a target set of behaviours. By turning the desired behaviour change into a game, people become engaged and encouraged to adopt new habits
Developing skills: Gamification is increasingly being used in both formal education and in corporate training programs to engage students in a more immersive learning experience.
Enabling Innovation: Innovation games generally use game mechanics to create a more engaging experience, but the key is to engage lots of players, solving problems through crowdsourcing.
Whilst very general, the analyst house believes these opportunities may emerge as the trend matures.
Burke added: “As gamification moves from being leveraged by a limited number of leading-edge innovators to becoming more broadly adopted by early adopters, it is important that CIOs and IT leaders understand the underlying principle of gamification and how to apply it within the IT organisation.”
MyCustomer.com recently examined the typical reasons why gamification strategies fail and outlined best practices to help keep employees engaged and customers loyal.