It’s very challenging to keep audience hooked to an app. The mobile app needs to be unique in an innovative way, and should be provide great value to its users. It should be appealing as well. These were the norm for a while, and it was never easy to nail the right proportion of visual appeal, functionality, and usability. A regular, stable application that does its job doesn’t impress the modern day app user much. They’ve probably seen better things on the internet.
What people want is something driving them to push towards a goal, to feel that they are doing something of value amongst competition and liking it. This is exactly what video games, at their core, offer players. This brings us to one of the most recent mobile app trends termed ‘gamification’.
Mobile App Gamification
A widely used mechanism in various industries now including mobile app development industry, gamification commands, directs, and motivates the masses. It essentially adds certain immersive video game elements to an app, providing a playful and much more entertaining experience to app users while increasing monetization, and thus profits.
The basic formula is to combine ‘Technology’, ‘Fun’, and ‘Rewards’ which would result in a better user experience and sustainable mobile growth.
When people know that their efforts will be rewarded, they’d be more inclined to complete certain actions that the app requires them to do. This increased engagement also increases revenue from the app. The app-based rewards can be anything from badges for time spent in the app to bonus benefits for doing in-app purchases. The key is to use a reward system that provides good value to users.
Statista believes that the gamification market worldwide would grow to over 11 billion U.S. dollars by 2020. This can also be considered as a testament to how successful gamification of mobile apps is turning out to be in this age. It can be particularly effective for enterprise apps that need to boost user engagement.
Here are a few gamification elements you can use to make your enterprise applications more engaging and more profitable.
- Rewards: You can find traces of gamification in real life as well, when you expect to get something in return for doing something else. If a mobile app offers some kind of prize to the users for completing a specific task, the users will be more motivated to complete the task provided they find the prize to be something of value to them.
- A good example is Habitica – a task manager app that gamifies the user’s daily routines, and rewards them for good habits.
- Virtual goodies: It’s similar to rewards but provides long-term value unlike rewards. The app called Pocket Points reward students with redeemable points for not using their mobile phone in the classroom. These points can be used for making real purchases.
- Badges: Badges appeal to the users’ pride. Offering badges to users gives them not only a reason to face a challenge or do a task provided by the app but also gives them a feel that they would be standing out from many other app users once they earn a particular badge. Some apps provide challenging tasks to users, and reward those that complete them with badges. Earning that badge would give satisfaction to users who take pride in proving their worth amongst competition.
- Progress bar: Regardless of the category an app belongs to, a progress bar that shows users the progress they’ve made on a specific task can make users want to perform that task till they reach 100%. For an app that helps users work out, this gamification element can increase engagement. If the app shows the progress bar of a user’s workout routine, they’d be motivated to keep going.
- Leaderboards: Leaderboards present another form of engagement where users get to see where they rank. Seeing one’s name on the list of winners undeniably give a sense of satisfaction. The excitement would also make users spread the word on their achievement, and the app effectively reaches more people. Leaderboards are generally provided when a user finishes his session in the app. This can improve their overall experience, and might even make them want to improve their rank in the Leaderboard.
- Nike+ Move app tracks people’s moves, scores them, and ranks them on a leaderboard motivating them to work on improving themselves.
Things to keep in mind
Simply including gamification elements in an app won’t get you the results you desire. A lot of planning should precede gamification. There are things you should keep in mind before ‘gamifying’ your mobile app.
- Have a clear goal: You need to know where your app needs to go for it to grow, and then use gamification to guide the app towards that goal through its user base. Create a story first that relates to the functionalities of your app, and then gamify the aspects to make the experience better for users.
- Create value: Make sure the gamification elements you chose for the app gives value to users. User retention is vital. If users can see the value of interacting more with the app, they would be willing to use the app more than they intended to.
- Let them share: If you believe that the gamified app can certainly impress users and keep them hooked, make sure to provide a way for them to spread the word about the app as well. The app and its interactions might convince the users to talk about it in communities and to people they know. This is one of the best strategies to increase user base.
It’s still an app, and not a game. Completely gamifying an app would essentially make it a game. If people wanted games, they would install games. They use your app for a reason. No gamification should prevail over the app’s original functions. Gamification is just a means to pique users’ interest and keep them more engaged. It shouldn’t complicate things for the business behind the app.
If you think your enterprise mobile app requires gamification, or if you want a gamified mobile app built from scratch for your business, we can be of service. AoT’s mobile app development services are focused on improving businesses with innovative custom apps that keep up with present trends. Feel free to contact us to see how AoT can bring the change your enterprise needs.