Add some fun and gamify your research!

You must have heard about the new buzzword…Gamification! It has been infiltrating different departments within the organization already such as marketing, HR and R&D. And research as well! We boost our participant’s experience and encourage them to join our research. So, why not add a little bit of fun to your research?
There are many types of “play mechanics” you can add, depending on the goal of your research. For example, Foursquare is famous for its badges. If members become more active, they win different types of badges. Hell, they even become the mayor! Rewarding members with a bonus system gives them status and recognition amongst the community. You can also reward them by giving them some extras by sharing exclusive product offerings of the brand.
Get in the zone
We’ve also integrated some of the play mechanics in our research projects, and gamified a normal-looking survey into a game-like quiz. While integrating these mechanics, we can learn a thing or two from the Flow Zone model (based on research of M. Csikszentmihalyi). This model tells us it’s all about the mix between the challenge and the right skills to keep the participant in the game flow. If the task at hand is rather easy, boredom is right around the corner. If the task is too challenging, the player might curse you and become really frustrated and finally quit.
Gamify your research community
Play mechanics can definitely pimp your research communities. It encourages competitive behavior between your members and boosts the activity level of the community. Elements such as member’s badge collection and the opportunity to unlock extra ‘rooms’ make the community experience more fun and entertaining. We’ve experienced this in our communities as well. Dividing members into groups triggers them to encourage each other to become more active and win the reward. This gives the community feeling a real boost. Another mechanic that works well in the community is a status bar: how far in the process are members in unlocking a new room? The increased activity results in more and insightful discussions with your members.
Have you become interested to add some fun to your research and gamify your projects? My colleague Elias will soon share his inspirational slides on gamification & research. In the meantime…don’t hesitate to send me or Elias an e-mail if you want to take your research to the next level…

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