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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Why Gaming is Good For You

While gamification and gaming aren’t mutually exclusive, they certainly aren’t disconnected either.

Researchers have been exploring how games impact our brain development and influence everything from our social behavior to our emotional health. What they’ve uncovered is astonishing.

For a quick look at why gaming is good for you, check out the infographic below (who doesn’t love a good infographic?)

As affirmative as this infographic is, the public discourse around the negative impacts of gaming continue to garner a lot of attention in the media.

Check out my recent article for a deeper look at the controversy surrounding violent video games.

Why Gaming is Good for You

The Benefits of Gaming Infographic Why Gaming is Good For You

Why Gaming is Good for You- an infographic from Frugal Dad

Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Yu-kai Chou’s Gamification Workshop for Accenture (Slides)

Accenture is now taking on the practice of Gamification

Few years ago, many companies still believed that Gamification was just a non-serious fad. Of course, these companies also paid big bucks to consulting firms like Deloitte and Accenture to help them streamline their operations and improve their profitabilities.

Now consulting firms like Deloitte and Accenture are also offering Gamification as one of their capabilities, showing that gamification – when done well – is valuable across the board.

Accenture Gamification Yu kai Chous Gamification Workshop for Accenture (Slides)Workshop on Octalysis Gamification

A couple weeks ago, I had the honor of doing a workshop for Accenture, teaching them my Octalysis Framework and how it pertains to good gamification design. It was hugely successful, and over 200 Accenture employees attended.

This workshop is a bit similar to the one I gave to eBay at the beginning of the year, but with more detail, better exams, and more execution flushed out of it. Of course, it includes my new learnings and growth throughout the year.

Finally…Level 1 Octalysis Certificate (in Gamification) Given!

Level 1 Octalysis Certificate.001 Finally...Level 1 Octalysis Certificate (in Gamification) Given!

Gamification Certificate in Octalysis

I know there’s been a few certified gamification courses out there, and I’ve heard mixed reviews about them. Some readers have told me that they have learned way more from my site than from other expert-certified courses, so they asked if I would create a certification program for them too.

I entertained the idea on my Beginner’s Guide to Gamification Video Series just to see what kind of interest I get. Level 1 Octalysis involves sending me a full analysis of any engaging product with the 8 Core Drives in mind. Naturally, like Octalysis, there are 5 Levels within this Certification, but so far only Level 1 is available to the public.

Interestingly, I received a decent amount of submissions, with some being better than others.

An Achievement Symbol is only valuable if it is an actual achievement (and Scarce)

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4 Experience Phases in Gamification (#3): The Scaffolding Phase

Gamification Purpose 4 Experience Phases in Gamification (#3): The Scaffolding Phase

The 3rd Experience Phase of Gamification: Scaffolding

Earlier I have covered the first 2 experience phases of player’s journey: Discovery, and Onboarding. Scaffolding is the 3rd experience phase of a Player’s Journey.

Scaffolding starts once a player has learned the basic tools and rules to play the game and has achieved the “First Major Win-State.”

This phase is a bit difficult to cover in one writing because it’s the regular journey and activity that the user engages in, and anything goes during this stage based on what your product or service actually is. I’ve written a fairly long post here about this phase but it will be very core to my gamification concepts so for those who are learning about Octalysis and hope to design something engaging, you should read through it.

Scaffolding: the Regular Journey

Regarding the scaffolding phase, one thing to note is that more often than not, it requires the exact same (or very similar) actions on a regular/daily basis, and the Gamification designer must answer the question, “why would my users come back over and over again for the same actions?”

Rewards, Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

This is where people think about Rewards.

Rewards are great because they continuously motivate people towards a goal, even if it means repetitive activity.

However, it is a bit too focused on extrinsic motivation instead of intrinsic motivation.

Therefore, there are different types of rewards to engage more core drives beyond the reward itself.

In an earlier post, I have defined 6 Contextual Types of Rewards, including Fixed-action rewards, Random rewards, Rolling rewards, and more.

Keep note that usually extrinsic rewards are better at attracting people to participate in the first place (Discovery and Onboarding), but towards the Scaffolding and EndGame, you want to transition to intrinsic motivation as much as possible.

Let’s explore the Scaffolding Phase within the 8 core drives of Octalysis.

Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling

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