0. Introduction

by Janaki Mythily Kumar and Mario Herger

This book covers the intersection of enterprise software and gamification.

Enterprise software refers to software that businesses use to run their day-to-day activities such as finance, sales, human resources, manufacturing, shipping, and procurement. It is typically purchased by companies as off-the-shelf software, customized and configured to meet their business needs, and made available to their employees. Enterprise software provides visibility to executives regarding the health of their organizations and enables them to make course corrections as needed.

Gamification is the application of game design principles and mechanics to non-game environments. It attempts to make technology more inviting by encouraging users to engage in desired behaviors and by showing the path to mastery. From a business viewpoint, gamification is using people's innate enjoyment of play.

Gamification is a buzzword in business these days. Both Fortune Magazine (footnote 1) and Wall Street Journal (footnote 2) noted this trend in 2011. M2 Research predicts that the gamification market will reach 2.8 billion dollars by 2016 (footnote 3).

There are many reasons for this trend: the changing nature of information work, entry into the workforce of digital natives (footnote 4) - a new generation that has grown up playing online and video games, and the wide spread adoption of social media and mobile technology. Businesses are turning to gamification both to engage their customers and to motivate their employees.

As with any innovative trend, best practices in gamification are still emerging. Some businesses are taking a "chocolate covered broccoli" approach, simply adding game mechanics such as points, badges and leaderboards to their applications and calling them "gamified."

Gartner, in a 2012 press release, predicts, that while gamification has enormous potential, by 2014, 80% of current gamified applications will fail to meet business objectives, primarily due to poor design" (footnote 5).

"Most attempts at gamification currently miss the mark due to poor design, but successful and sustainable gamification can convert customers into fans, turn work into fun, or make learning a joy. The potential is enormous."

  • Brian Burke, research vice president at Gartner

This book explores the application of design best practices to gamification to increase the chance of success of gamification. It outlines a process called Player Centered Design, which offers a five-step approach to gamification that works.

This book is designed to be a practical guide for user experience professionals, product managers and developers who wish to incorporate the principles of gamification into their business software to make it more engaging to their target audience.

  • Chapter 1 prepares you to evangelize gamification in your organization, and set the right expectations to achieve success.
  • Chapter 2 introduces the concept of Player Centered Design. It points out the primary differences between User Centered Design and Player Centered Design, and describes a process that will help structure your gamification endeavors.
  • Chapter 3 outlines the components of a rich multifaceted Player persona.
  • Chapter 4 describes the Mission. We explore various ways to analyze current user behavior, identify the targeted business outcome, and set a S.M.A.R.T mission. We believe it is important to identify the desired goal of your gamification project, before adding game mechanics to your application.
  • Chapter 5 examines the psychology behind human Motivation. We present a curated list of motivational drivers in this chapter.
  • Chapter 6 delves into the details of Game Mechanics. We present a curated list of game mechanics that are relevant to the enterprise.
  • Chapter 7 tackles the Managing, Monitoring, and Measuring gamification. Gamification in an enterprise is a program and not a project. We recommend starting small, monitoring closely, then revising and iterating for optimal business results.
  • Chapter 8 introduces the Legal and Ethical considerations in gamification.
  • Chapter 9 provides a collection of Enterprise gamification examples and links to a website for further examples.
  • Chapter 10 is about Leveling Up. We point you toward a collection of books, experts, and online resources that can guide you further towards gamification mastery.

Throughout the book we use a case study of the SAP Community Network (SCN), which illustrates the points made in the chapter along with lessons learnt.

Thank you for embarking on this journey of gamification with us. We wish you an engaging and rewarding trip.

Topics in this book chapter:

2 References