Gamification is the use of game-thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts in order to engage users and solve problems. Gamification is used in applications and processes to improve user engagement, ROI, data quality, timeliness, and learning. ‘Wikipedia‘
AOL has conducted a very interesting research recently with BBDO regarding the hidden motivations of mobile users. The paper reveals seven main motivations for mobile usage which we can all relate to:
The interesting take on the paper is that out of all motivations, ‘Me Time’ is by far the biggest Mobile Moment with 46% of all moments (second motivation is ‘socialize’ with only 19%). Understanding why and how people use their smart phones and apps are the first tasks of any app developer. There are many apps that focus on cool design, content and usability but the successful ones that also serve ‘me-time’ motivation have all three qualities in common: Entertaining, engaging and fun.
It’s not that consumers have short attention spans. It’s that we give them so little of interest to look at. ‘Lee Clow‘
Gamification is obviously not just about being fun, but it is mainly about how you can change user behavior with fun and entertaining game mechanics. Adding a simple and effective game elements to your design is much more complex than said, but if done properly the rewards are significant, for the user and for the brands, especially considering how much time people spend with their smart phones during me-time and it is one of the best ways to bridge the gap between online and offline engagements.
Lego is one of the pioneers in this arena, and has built many interactive iPhone app that involves playing with real Lego bricks. Lego recently launched interactive mobile movie maker app that enables users to create their own stop animation movies using Lego blocks and mini figures. Another app was launched again by Lego, an iPhone app that challenges users to quickly build small models using real bricks and then take pictures of them using the device’s camera so that you can get a score based on the completeness of your work and also how quickly you finish it. All these activities help users interact with Lego’s physical products while sharing the digital images and games with their friends online. Another app that enables users to transform their favorite images into LEGO form by choosing a photo from an existing gallery or pointing the camera to snap a new photo, Lego Photo, attracted over 2 million unique downloads and ranked as the 32nd most downloaded app in the U.S in last January.