Gamification, a game for developers

3 min reading
Gamification, a game for developers


Gamification is becoming more than just a trend that is penetrating in a variety of sectors. In fact, analysts such as Gartner say that 70% of the companies that are part of the Forbes Global 2000 ranking will have in 2014 at least one application or gamificated system incorporated into their strategies.

Many of these applications or platforms have users or end customers and even their own employees as targets. However, in this article we are going to show you some examples intended for developers, both amateurs and professionals.

Nokia launched last November its new competition: “Nokia Create”. This is a challenge based on the development of new applications for the Nokia Lumia smartphone and Windows Phone 8 operating system. A series of 15 missions spread over eight categories engage participants to win travels to events, devices, promotions and money for advertising campaigns, among other prizes.

Each mission has a specific focus: from "Mini Missions", where you can develop new Nokia APIs and new features for existing Windows Phone applications, to the "Master Missions", challenging the development of new applications. You can even create or update applications to help people with visual disabilities through the "Do Good Mission".

Just like Nokia, BBVA has invested heavily in a gamification strategy and now, with the “Beta Testers” programme, developers can be part of the bank’s process of creating applications. Applications can now be tested with real users before fully deploying them. The platform has a gamification process in which users acquire points, karma and badges or insignias as they use the web.

To facilitate the work of the beta testers the site has a system which notifies users about their interactions with other participants, both developers and beta testers. Besides, the platform has a forum where the community is invited to discuss anything related to the beta testing world and the platform.

Another example of gamification for web developers is Stackoverflow, a site with questions and answers for programmers. The reputation of a participant increases when other users vote his questions and answers. By gaining reputation it is possible to obtain privileges such as the ability to vote, comment, and even edit the messages from others. At higher levels, you have access to special moderation tools – in other words, you are invited to work with the community's official team of moderators. The achievements in this case are recognised with badges that are earned by participating in the website.

Essential elements of gamification

Now, after going through these examples, if you are interested in creating and designing gamification platforms, these are some essential elements you should take into account, according to Deloitte:

1. Identify targets: First it is necessary to identify potential participants, as well as the processes or activities to encourage.

2. Establish the rules: Rules also help participants to develop their creativity in order to meet the challenges.

3. Paths to progress towards the goal: The use of challenges and resources for increasing motivation and interest when faced with a new challenge is another important element. The complexity of the challenges in such paths to progress should be increased over time. In this sense, if an amateur participant is rewarded for basic tasks, a more advanced user may require more difficult challenges to stay motivated.

4. Feedback and rewards: The feedback and the design of rewards is another aspect to consider when it comes to encouraging participants to reach a goal. Offering the right reward at the right time is key, both during the challenge and also with the final results. Some users will be motivated for example by monetary rewards, more traditional, while others will value the increase of their capacity to explore and master a system or by the fact of having a certain level of power, leadership or responsibility.

5. Social connection: Harnessing the social networks to generate competition and increase support is the fifth essential point of gamification. Thanks to the Internet, the emergence of mobile devices and social networks it is possible to communicate anytime, anywhere. This increases the ability to interact with other users and extend the level of participation

6. Interface and user experience: You can't forget about the design and integration with different platforms if you want to provide an excellent user experience. Because of the significant improvements in video game graphics and the design of web pages, many users are increasingly demanding in terms of the expectations concerning many applications and systems.


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