Gamification User Experience (UX) topic overview/definition

Gamification: Concept Definition

Gamification is the process of applying typical elements of gameplay to non-gaming contexts. It is typically implemented by designers to increase user engagement with a product or service. Gaming elements such as rewards and competition have the ability to drive, and even change, user behavior, which is useful for contexts that support learning, productivity, health and safety.

Gamification takes the virtual goal of achievement in a traditional game (e.g. slaying the dragon, saving the princess, or escaping the island) and makes it a goal in real-life. This can be anything from taking out the garbage more often, to eating an apple a day, to closing more business deals. Rewards and competition are often utilized to motivate users to reach those goals. For example, gamified websites or applications often feature locked badges as rewards, and ranking boards to introduce a competitive element.

In order for gamification to work optimally, there has to be sufficient intrinsic motivation and challenge during the task(s). Otherwise, the gaming elements might not be enough to effect change in the user’s behavior and additional rules and increased difficulty may then be needed to achieve the level and type of challenge suited to the user’s ability.

Successful gamification of non-gaming contexts also requires a seamless integration of gaming elements into the daily activities of users. Without this seamless integration, engaging in the gameplay becomes a conscious activity that is difficult to incorporate into their daily workflows. This prevents users from engaging with the product of service long-term, which is needed in order for gamification to sustainably change behavior.

For your convenience, we’ve collected all UX literature that deals with Gamification. Here’s the full list: