Personal Project Launch: WherePark

Answer to the question: Where Did I Park?

Hey guys,

On the side of hectic Gamification work, my friends and I have been working on an iOS app that I really needed, and I felt that more people in the world could benefit from.

Since while I’m driving, I’m often in meetings on my phone, and at the end of the meetings, I often don’t remember where I parked (yes, this is one of my handicaps), and need to waste precious time finding my car.

All the solutions in the market either require purchasing a $100 hardware with Bluetooth enabled, or require the user to manually pin her location whenever she parks.

With WherePark, there are only three steps:

  1. Download WherePark
  2. Forget about it for a few months
  3. Open the app when you can’t find your car, and it knows exactly where you parked

This is still a minimal viable product, and it doesn’t have any Onboarding, Gamification, or social sharing, but it works and works extremely well for outdoor parking.

We are also working on on-door and garage parking, but that will take a little longer.

If you have a few seconds, I would highly appreciate if you download WherePark from the iOS App Store, try it out for a few days, and give us some feedback.

Look forward to it solving some real problems! (At least it’s been solving mine)

The Strategy Dashboard for Gamification Design

Gamification Strategy Dashboard The Strategy Dashboard for Gamification Design

(Below is an unedited manuscript snippet of my upcoming book, Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards. Please subscribe to the mailing list on the right to order the book when it becomes available. This post may be removed after a certain period of time).

The Strategy Dashboard: Your Gamification Campaign Command Center

In my Octalysis Gamification process, no matter what industry you are working in, there are the 5 things, which you need to define before you start gamifying something.

Up to this point I have explained a framework that allows you to analyze how engaging an experience is through the 8 Core Drives.

That by itself is very powerful and can engender plenty of creative ideas that focus on important motivation and engagement variables for any product or service.

However some people still ask me, “But Yu-Kai, how do I actually start to design a Gamified campaign with the 8 Core Drives? I can now create an experience that’s interesting and engaging but I’m not sure how to get that to drive business success from the better experiences.”

That’s mostly because they are missing a critical piece in the design project, which I like to call the Strategy Dashboard.

The Strategy Dashboard is something I get every single client of mine to define at the beginning of every engagement.

It’s a constantly evolving document that clarifies exactly what the business metrics are, what the game objective is, who the players are, what the win-states are, what the feedback mechanics are, and also what incentives can reward users.

Your Strategy Dashboard is not meant to be like a business plan, where you spend months creating and then put on a shelf to collect dust.

It’s something that takes the bare minimum amount of information to execute an actionable campaign for Gamification.

Often times it takes less than one or two hours to define the Strategy Dashboard, but it could also take months to finalize as you evolve your product or service.

Within the Strategy Dashboard, there are five things to define:

  1. Business Metrics, leading to Game Objective
  2. Users, leading to Players
  3. Desired actions, leading to Win-States
  4. User metrics, leading to Feedback Mechanics
  5. Incentives, leading to Rewards

Let me explain each of them.

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Ownership & Possession: How Stoned Can You Be? (Gamification Design)

Stoned Cat Ownership & Possession: How Stoned Can You Be? (Gamification Design)

(Below is an unedited manuscript snippet of my upcoming book: Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards. Please subscribe to the mailing list on the right to order the book when it becomes available. This post may be removed after a certain period of time).

The Mysterious Nature of Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession

A fascinating example on the feeling of Ownership is seen on Yap, an island in the Caroline Islands of the Western Pacific Ocean. Besides sounding cheerful and carefree, the “Yapese” are known for using a currency called Rai.

Rai function like most currencies, except they are large, circular stone disks carved out of limestone from aragonite and calcite crystals. The issue with Rai being very large is that often it is almost impossible to carry around, let along pass it on to others. In fact, some rai are so large that it is generally impractical to move home, and are sometimes left in the wild. As a result, when the Yapese buys something with rai, they simply leave an oral history that the ownership of the rai now is transferred to another person.

Gamification Stone Ownership & Possession: How Stoned Can You Be? (Gamification Design)

In the most extreme cause, there was a famous rai stone that fell off a ship during transportation and sunk to the bottom of the ocean. Even though no one has seen it for many years, the Yapese still assume it is still there, so the rightful owner of the rai stone in the ocean could still exchange that ownership for other goods. That’s pretty wild, with some pun intended.

If I came to you and told you that a large piece of stone somewhere in the world is in my possession, and I will trade it to you if you give me a million dollars; however, you won’t be able to move it and will have to leave it there, just like the owner before me, what would you think about me?

You may think I’m stoned and activate your preferred method of interacting with crazy people (popular options include: laugh at me, yell at me, look at me strangely, pretend to take me seriously just to entertainment yourself, pretend to take me seriously just to be polite – all reactions I’ve gotten when I talked about gamification between 2003-2008).

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Success! The First Advanced Octalysis Gamification Design Workshop

Yu-kai’s Advanced Octalysis Gamification Design Workshop

Workshop.1 300x187 Success! The First Advanced Octalysis Gamification Design Workshop

(Many thanks to Kevin Smith/Megan Bell The VAULT for providing a special venue for the first-ever Octalysis Workshop!)

A beautiful Saturday morning in the City by the Bay and the first all day workshop on Octalysis is about to begin.  The Chou Force team is prepping the meeting room at The VAULT Incubator in the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District.  The venue provides a comfortable, cozy environment for the workshop participants, conducive to learning, the exchange of ideas, and friendly interaction.

Testimonials from awesome attendees

Soon the workshop attendees start to arrive and exchange greetings.  Everyone enjoys the breakfast items and refreshments in anticipation of a great day of learning and interaction.

I purposely decided not to do the typical “breakfast pastries” that I see at every event, but went with Asian-styled cakes of many sorts, followed by awesome SpiceKit wraps for lunch (my favorite in San Francisco).

Each participant selects their preferred seating at a table, on a sofa, or even in a bean bag chair for extra-comfort.  After some final technical preparations, my Advanced Octalysis Gamification Design Workshop starts shortly after 9:30 AM. Continue reading